Calgary Citizen Newsletter Tuesday Feb. 13

Plus: Mice and cockroach infestation at daycare and Block Heater music acts to catch

Good morning !

Last week we ran a poll asking our readers if they support a notice-of-recall petition calling for Mayor Jyoti Gondek to step down. The poll results couldn’t be closer with 50.78% (262 out of 516) saying they would sign the petition. Meanwhile, the petition has until April 4 to collect 514,284 signatures from Calgarians who are eligible to vote.

Krista Sylvester, Managing Editor

👀 In today's edition:

  • Unique YYC biz goes global

  • Daycare mouse/cockroach infestation

  • Catch these musicians at Block Heater

Today’s read time: Approx. 4 minutes

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A Calgary-built card-sorting machine revolutionizing trading cards is going global

Graeme Gordon has spent the last nine years of his life building and selling the PhyzBatch-9000 and his expansion plans are just getting started.

It’s been a whirlwind year for TCG Machines and that’s music to the ears of Graeme Gordon, president and CEO of the Calgary tech startup.

Previously written about in Calgary Citizen, the mechanical engineer launched a revolutionary card sorting machine dubbed PhyzBatch-9000 as a startup in 2016. It stemmed from the amount of time it took to look through his own collectable card collection.

Fast forward a few years, and TCG has increased its domestic presence to 50 states, provinces, and territories and there are agreements in place to expand into the UK and EU.

“In 2021, we posted five-figure revenues, in 2022 we hit six-figure revenues, and in 2023, we surpassed seven-figure revenues,” Gordon says, adding in January 2024 alone there were 12 orders from new customers. “Considering we have never had a dedicated in-house sales or marketing person, the market penetration we have achieved is pretty incredible. In a word, we’re crushin’ it.”

It was always Gordon’s intention to expand beyond North America and while it’s been happening quickly, it was also a slow process to get to this point.

“The trading card industry is massive—many tens of billions of dollars annually—and it would be foolish for us to ignore the opportunities overseas,” he says. “I expect our expansion will be somewhat of a snowball effect from here on out.”

Despite the expansion growth, there have also been challenges, but Gordon says the team is more prepared than ever to make this next leap.

“As long as we continue to be accountable to our customers and we are always striving to improve our products and services, I know we will be successful.”

Related Story


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Need to know

🐁 A daycare has reopened after an inspection uncovered more than 20 violations including cockroaches in the kitchen and mouse droppings in an area where children slept.

🪏 Threats on Calgary sidewalks over snow removal says company upset about lack of awareness.

❤️ 'I never expected to have anybody help me': A local program is supporting seniors with pets by helping provide medical assistance.

👷 Construction crews have broken ground in preparation for Calgary's controversial new arena.

🪧 City council approved a land use change for a new 16-storey tower in Kensington despite opposition.

🚓 A warrant has been issued for Calgary-born wrestler Teddy Hart, grandson of pro-wrestling legend Stu Hart.

👮 A Calgary police officer has been charged with sexual assault.

💰 The Calgary Downtown Association is giving out gift cards to Bow Valley College students.

💸 Protests, transit safety and war: Calgary police spend double their OT and call-out budget in '23.

🎸 The Jonas Brothers will play the Scotiabank Saddledome on July 13 as part of the Calgary Stampede.

🚓 'Chilling and disturbing': Man given prison term for random attacks on two women.

Check out a variety of musicians at Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Block Heater this weekend

There are Friday/Saturday combo passes available to take in up to 22 artists and nine concerts, all for $90. // Block Heater Instagram ⁠

Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Block Heater is taking over seven venues with 12 events Feb. 15-17 and there’s something for everyone at this event that’s part of Chinook Blast. Enjoy a weekend of family-friendly music both indoors and outdoors downtown and just over the river. With 27 artists from around the globe, there’s a lot to choose from, so we chose three of the artists we are most excited about with a snippet of their bio from the website.

This is the Kit: A quiet is the new loud approach to songwriting permeates the sound of British singer-songwriter Kate Stables. Most often labelled as alternative folk, Stables is a keen observer of the human experience and an exceptional musician who will bring in a rough electric guitar edge here, a bit of blues there, or a touch of bluegrass underneath to deliver her folk songs just the way she wants them. Feb. 16 from 10:15-11:15pm at Central United Church.

The Devil Makes Three: This longstanding Americana trio inhabits a hardscrabble working-class world full of problem drinkers, tellers of tall tales, pirates and troublemakers; desperate parables delivered with a charming deadpan wit. Their music is rooted in troubadour traditions of wandering folk, Delta blues, whiskey-soaked ragtime and reckless rock ‘n’ roll. Feb. 16 from 11-11:55pm at The Palace Theatre.

Tanika Charles: This Edmonton-born singer took the grooviest, sassiest elements of soul and rhythm and blues, and spun them into Soul Run, a collection of powerhouse songs that showcase her many winsome talents. Her keen ear for melody and lyrics, paired with thick, lush production and kickass vocals propelled Charles to the top of ‘best of’ lists everywhere. Feb. 17 from 8:55-9:55pm at the downtown Royal Canadian Legion.

Where to eat and drink

🍴 Paper Lantern: Tucked away in a Chinatown basement lies a tropical and Vietnamese cocktail bar that also has salty snacks.

🍴 Posto Pizzeria & Bar: Not only does Posto have pizza but it also has great wine, cocktails, pasta, and more.

🍴 Crystie's Coffee House and Bistro Inc.: Enjoy coffee beans from Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Burundi, Colombia, Bolivia, Kenya, and Ethiopia in this cute Wolf Willow.

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

Local specials

💸 Cineplex $5 Tuesdays: Every Tuesday in February Cineplex is only $5 for small popcorn and $5 for movie tickets.

💸 Leela Eco Spa: Call to book the Love & Chocolate Pedicure special for $65 that includes a delicious soak, scrub, mask, moisturizer, and a glass of prosecco all February.

💸 iFly Valentine's Special: Kickstart your heart with a $100 flight special for two people at iFly.

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

Things to do

🎟️ The Winter Gala at Alberta Ballet: The anticipation is building as Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia takes the helm of Alberta Ballet with a burst of unparalleled creative energy on Feb. 15.

🎟️ Market Collective: In partnership with Chinook Blast, Market Collective presents Broken Hearts, Friends + Lovers 2024 from Feb. 16-18, Municipal Hall Atrium.

🎟️ Cooking When Fatigued Feb 21 - Learn to prepare and cook healthy meals when you live with chronic fatigue or mobility issues related to neurological conditions or arthritis. This free, virtual class is hosted by an AHS-registered dietitian and occupational therapist.*

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

*Sponsored Listing

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