Calgary Citizen Newsletter Thursday May 2

Plus, YYC spots hit best brunch list

Good morning !

As a lover of books, I am sharing this important event to our readers because I know many of you love to read and also love giving back to the community! The Calgary Reads Big Book Sale is celebrating 20 years of raising funds to help more children experience the life-changing joy of reading. Donations of gently used books are down this year and the organization could use a boost. They’re accepting donations until May 5 at the Calgary Curling Club. More than 175,000 gently used books in every genre imaginable await you at the Calgary Reads Big Book Sale at the Calgary Curling Club from May 10 to 20.

Krista Sylvester, Managing Editor

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🌧️ Today: High 6C, Low -1C. See the 7-day forecast.

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

Province reverses its decision to cut funding for low-income bus passes in Calgary and Edmonton


The Alberta government has reversed the decision to cut funding for low-income transit passes in the province's two largest cities. just a day after announcing the controversial decision. The mayors of Calgary and Edmonton both spoke out about the decision and many Albertans also reacted negatively.

As CBC reports, the government released a statement, saying: "Following conversations with the two largest cities, it is clear that the cities are not able to pay for their full programs at this time. As a result, Alberta's government will continue to extend this funding to the cities and work with them to ensure their low-income transit program continues to be funded in the future."

According to CTV, the Low-Income Transit Pass program was launched in Calgary in 2005 and has been funded in part by the Alberta government since 2017. According to city officials, more than 119,000 low-income passes were issued in Calgary this year already—a 35% jump since last year.

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Need to know

🥚 These are Calgary's best brunch spots for 2024, according to Open Table.

🏘️ 'A perfect storm for sellers': Demand for lower-priced listings driving up Calgary home prices and sales.

🔥 A century-old building that Calgarians have been lobbying to save from demolition caught fire and sent one person to hospital.

🎶 Goo Goo Dolls, Gin Blossoms, and Crash Test Dummies are among the bands playing at the Stampede Roundup MusicFest.

🎵 The Calgary Folk Fest lineup was announced with The Roots and Cowboy Junkies among those set to headline.

⛺️ A Calgary shelter has launched a campaign to help families facing homelessness.

🗳️ Province says only Canadians can vote in civic elections, despite Calgary city council motion.

👮 Man faces murder charge after ‘fatal domestic assault’ in the city’s northeast.

Alberta Bike Swap is having its next Calgary event on May 4 at Max Bell Arena

There’s not much worse for cyclists than having their bikes stolen and it’s a reality many Calgarians face—especially as peak bike theft season rolls in. That’s part of the reason Chris and Laura Grant founded Alberta Bike Swap, the community-based event for buying, selling, and donating bikes, which is having its next Calgary event on May 4. 

The Grants have been running Alberta Bike Swap for 13 years and have donated more than half their profits back into the community. It started as a way to promote a cycling lifestyle in Alberta but it has blossomed into a safe and trustworthy way to buy and sell bikes confidently and safely. We spoke with the Grants about their role in preventing bike theft. Learn more in our feature about the Grants.

How big of a problem is bike theft and how does this event help? 

Bike theft surged in Calgary 429% last summer. We prevent the sale of stolen bikes through our processes and software. The police and RCMP have recovered bikes from online sales and pawn shops based on our paperwork, and they've trusted what we do for the last 13 years. We had several conversations and did our due diligence to verify bike ownership, and after years of discussing this with the RCMP, CPS, EPS, and cybercrime police specialists, they recommended we tap Bike Index because the Canadian stolen bike database isn't real-time. We designed the only bike swap software in the world that verifies the owner of the bike.

How has this event grown over the years? 

We doubled the first year, 2011, added cities, but have now steadied at ~10% growth annually. They're big events and all the background work is just Chris and me at the kitchen table with ~80 volunteers. We have a wait list of volunteers every year within a week of opening the volunteer portal on our website in mid-March.

What are the benefits of adding kids' bikes to the events? 

The benefits of adding children's bikes is that we help growing families with good used bikes. Children outgrow bikes so fast, and having a child on a better quality bike that fits them makes them want to cycle. We buy outgrown bikes outright after tech checking them, then sell those bikes.

Where to eat and drink

🍴 Grumans Deli is a traditional deli where breakfast and lunch are served all day and they have a variety of take-out foods and home-cooked meals to go.

🍴 Buta Katsu opened in Calgary earlier this year and offers comforting and fulfilling meals consisting of perfectly golden, crispy fried cutlets served with steamed rice, Tonkatsu sauce, and fresh salad.

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

Local specials

💸 Downhill Karting: Prepare for the karting season with an early bird promo until May 12 offering 15 rides for the price of $115 to be used between May 18 and June 30.

💸 Alvin’s Jazz Club: If you want to enjoy some live music, stop in on a Tuesday or Sunday for a half-off cover charge. Also check out the happy hour menu for some great deals on food.

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

Things to do

🎟️ Asian Heritage Month events kick off on Thursday with a full slate of events over the next few weeks to celebrate Asian culture and heritage, such as dance performances, film, workshops, food, and more.

🎟️ Spring Matriarch Market this weekend at the Kerby Centre Gymnasium is the perfect place to find unique treasures from handmade crafts to vintage finds while supporting local Indigenous vendors.

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


One of our readers snapped this shot of the city sky. // K. Anne

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