Calgary Citizen Newsletter Thursday June 20

Good morning !

Last week we asked for readers photos and we got so many amazing ones that we can’t wait to share with all of you! The great response gave us an idea to share some recommendations of off-the-beaten-path things to see, eat, drink, or do in Calgary that we can compile into a story and share next week. We’d love to hear about some of your hidden gems so send them our way to [email protected]. Have a lovely weekend!

Krista Sylvester, Managing Editor

👀 In today's edition:

  • WestJet grounds planes

  • YYC has its first political party

  • Checkmate! Free chess camp

Today’s read time: Approx. 4 minutes

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🌦️ Today: High 20C, Low 10C. See the 7-day forecast.

🚗 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation, and find the city’s traffic report and road closures.

Thousands of passengers left scrambling after WestJet cancels flights ahead of potential strike

In a press release Wednesday night, WestJet and AMFA mutually agreed to return to the bargaining table, preventing further network cancellations.

WestJet customers were left scrambling after the Calgary-based airline cancelled more than three dozen flights as the airline’s mechanics can strike as early as 7pm on June 20. Around 6,500 passengers had their Tuesday and Wednesday flights cancelled. In the meantime, a late Wednesday night update said the mechanic’s union agreed to go back to the bargaining table. Around 670 WestJet mechanics represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association served the company with strike notice earlier this month after months of negotiations stalled.

The latest: WestJet has requested that the Canada Industrial Relations Board step in with binding arbitration, but the the board says it needs more time to hear submissions from both sides.

According to CBC, passenger protection regulations entitle customers to a full refund in the original form of payment for the cancelled trips, according to an air passenger rights advocacy group.

A piece of airport history

Need to know

🖊️ Calgary father calls out ‘concerning’ clause in summer camp contract.

🪧 Calgary's first municipal political party launches after the provincial government created legislation earlier this year.

🚧 Replacement pipes arrive in Calgary to help in water main repairs as the mayor updates citizens on the latest timeline.

🏘️ Alberta's rate of population growth led the country to start 2024 — even before $5K 'moving bonus'.

🔥 Fire officials says they’re very aware of the water crisis and crews did all they could to save every drop while knocking down a fire in Bowness.

💸 Calgary misses out on hosting major international conference due to visa processing delays.

🏒 Flames trade popular goaltender Jacob Markstrom to New Jersey Devils.


Get ready for Cool Choir’s electrifying showcase: Songs I Wish I’d Written

Join 270 voices as they breathe new life into timeless classics, spanning generations from past to present.

Experience spine-tingling renditions that will leave you spellbound. Special guests include Calgary’s own TWO-TIME JUNO NOMINATED recording artist Kobra Paige, who will perform her soul-stirring original songs, backed by the awe-inspiring harmonies of Cool Choir.

Also, the ethereal talent of Entwined, a dynamic piano, vocal, and cello duo, as they deliver a breathtaking selection of reimagined music, both vocal and instrumental.

This is not just a show; it’s an epic celebration of musical variety on a grand scale. Don’t miss the chance to witness this extraordinary event live!

Immerse yourself in the unforgettable experience of Songs I Wish I’d Written with Cool Choir.

Citizen readers EXCLUSIVE 10% discount - use code 'citizen' at checkout!

From Rookies to Grandmasters: Free chess camp ignites a love for the game

University of Calgary students work to make chess more accessible through free chess events with expert lessons for youth across the city. // Instagram

The Checkmate Foundation is recruiting future chess players to attend its free chess summer camp in an effort to help grow the game and foster development and inclusion. Chess has a way of uniting people, says volunteer Areeb Qayyum. “Chess is an excellent medium to bring people from all ages, backgrounds, and life paths together,” he says, adding: “Teaching chess has allowed me to apply the lessons I give in my everyday life." The organization, run by University of Calgary students, runs a variety of programs, including its C.A.S.T.L.E initiative focused on low-income or marginalized communities. Starting on Sunday, June 30 from 12:30-2:30pm and running into August, the group is hosting a free summer chess camp with room for 60 youth participants between the ages of 8-15. Check out the range of programs, events, and workshops here. We chatted with volunteer Areeb Qayyum to learn more.

What is the Checkmate Foundation? It launched two years ago with the hope to provide the many benefits of the game to the community at large. We run events from many different demographics, from seniors to people recovering from addiction or homelessness. All of our events are open to the public. The programs are sponsored by Rotary International, the Calgary Foundation, Canada Service Corps program and the United Nations Association.

Why Chess? Chess is known to improve cognitive skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and concentration. It also promotes patience, discipline, and sportsmanship. The Checkmate Foundation aims to instill these values in young minds through enjoyable and educational chess activities. Best of all, these programs help create lifelong friendships and a sense of belonging.

Where to eat and drink

🍴 The Dorian: This downtown spot is hosting its Summer Solstice Seafood Boil to celebrate the longest day of the year on June 22 with delicious cocktails and fresh seafood from 5-9pm.

🍴 Dim Sum 101: Friends of Chinatown YYC invites Calgarians to the Chinese Cultural Centre to learn about this popular meal while tasting eight dim sum dishes followed by a historic walking tour of Chinatown. On Saturday from 11:30am-1pm.

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


💸 Meow Charity Thrift Shop: This quaint thrift shop in the city’s northeast is offering 35% off on kitchenware, appliances, and barware until June 23.

💸 403Local: You don’t have to break the bank for gluten-free and vegan food options at this family-friendly sports bar with the $12 quick lunch menu throughout the week until 2:30pm.

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

Things to do

🎟️ Rhinestone Cowboy Weekend: Summer on 17th is hosting its fantastic pre-stampede weekend party featuring a variety of free events from Friday to Sunday including a vintage market, dance lessons, food vendors, and live music.

🎟️ This Week in Calgary: Get a full list of the week’s events every Tuesday in our events newsletter!

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


One of our readers sent this stunning photo of the Bow River looking towards downtown. // Colleen Rush

That’s it! Thanks for reading. If you have a hot story tip you want to share, feel free to reply back anytime.

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