How could I get Red's Diner, Calgary's Beltline neighbourhood, a "floodraiser" benefit at the Hotel Arts with funds going to the Calgary Foundation, and a comic strip about the Memorial Park Library (among other things) into 140 characters? I just couldn't.
So here's the story.
One thing that's so great about the Red's team (well, besides all the coffee) is how they are committed to running a restaurant that celebrates local history, employs local people, and even promotes local artists. When Red's on 4th opened, far from knocking down the historic building that was standing in their place, they completely renovated the building to maintain its heritage. And not only the heritage "atmosphere" (for example, a Calgary stained-glass window artist was commissioned to create a new window that would fit in with the original decor) - but they also preserved many of the actual heritage components, such as the window over the front door, featuring the original owner's initials.
That original owner was R. H. Williams, who happened to be a personal tailor to Queen Alexandra of England, before he headed out to Calgary in 1915 and opened the town's first ready-to-wear shop in what's now Red's Diner.
That's only one example of the many stories - some obscure, some well-known, but all fascinating - I uncovered about the history of Calgary's Beltline district in my research for this series of comics posters.
Amy Thiessen will be hosting the concert series which will include performances by Scotty Hills, Curtis Glas and Locomotive Ghost. Performances will take place between 2pm - 5pm.
Doors to the poolside patio will open at 1 pm. There will be a mixture of seating and standing room options. Table service will feature the Raw Bar menu. The Raw Bar will also be open featuring its Asian-fusion menu and award-winning cocktail program. A silent auction will also be set up in the Raw Bar with proceeds earmarked towards flood relief.
To see the first Red's poster, you'll have to head down to Red's on 4th and see it on the wall in a week or two (I'll let you know when it's up!). For a sneak preview of the second poster in the series, you'll have to head down to the Hotel Arts on Sunday to see this first-ever print of the artwork. Its subject is "Beltline Stories" and it features a comic strip depiction of all things book-related in the Beltline: The Memorial Park Library, the Lougheed House (which boasted one of Calgary's earliest private libraries of note), old bookstores (Sandcastles) and new bookstores (Shelf Life Books)... and, just for fun, it also features a bit about my own "Beltline love story" (yes, my own courtship began and ended... that is, when I got married... in the Beltline). (You know I just can't write comics about neutral facts and figures, I've always got to put some stuff about myself in there.) So if you're a fan of comics, Calgary history, the Beltline, and books... this may be something you'll want to have on your wall!
There'll be some more artwork along these lines at Red's in Ramsay sometime soon, too (featuring Ramsay stories). I'll be sure to let you know about what's happening with that. For now, get your tickets to the "floodraiser" and help support a good cause! It starts at 2 PM... which should give you plenty of time for a coffee at Red's on 4th before you head over.
There... that wouldn't have fit into a tweet, now would it?