Feature Profiles

Bringing digital information to the blind

A degree in geography and love of bicycles led Doug Hagedorn into an unusual venture — developing a tablet for the blind

tabletHagedorn, founder and CEO of Tactalis, walks into the Holy Grill wearing a t-shirt and jeans, fresh from a meeting concerning his other passion – cycling – at Speed Theory. The 29-year-old entrepreneur orders a coffee at the local joint and sits down to chat about the technology he's developing that could potentially make life a lot easier for the visually impaired.

Over one million Canadians are living with blindness or significant vision loss according to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Although technological advancements have allowed for universal smartphones and tablet computers, the blind and visually impaired are unable to use these visual devices.

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Vern's Tavern: The heart of Calgary’s underground music scene

For more than 20 years, Vern's bar and stage owner Clint Pike has opened the door of opportunity to bands, from the Sheepdogs and Marianas Trench to garage bands from down the street

thumb NEWClint-Pike Verns Hannah-Cawsey ae

Clint Pike has seen it all, from metal artists performing with severed goat heads on spikes to sermons of a Christian group, all from his post behind the bar at Vern’s.

On any given night, Vern’s hosts up-and-coming bands mainly from across Canada and the United States, but bands have travelled from as far as Tokyo to play in front of the infamous wall of cymbals.

Thousands of bands have taken the stage in the 20 years Vern’s has been open in Calgary, with anywhere from 60 to a 100 bands a month depending on the time of year. With owner Pike -- a fixture in the Calgary music scene -- manning the helm, the bands who take the stage at his bar gain valuable exposure and all the cash made in door sales.

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Stanley Jones: Calgary’s first Great War enlistee

Calgarian had immense passion for soldier's life and for his wife, Lucile

Stanley-and-LucillethumbStanley Livingston Jones was standing with his wife, Lucile, in front of one of the local newspaper buildings in Calgary on Aug.5, 1914 when they discovered the news that German forces had attacked Belgium a da prior on Aug. 4. In response, Britain declared war on Germany to honour the 1839 Treaty of London — a document that stated Britain would protect Belgium in the event of war.

As soon as Lucile saw the news that Canada was joining the effort and troops were being urged to join the war-effort, she turned to her husband and saw an expression his face that made her "realize that nothing would stop him from enlisting."

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Day in the Life of a Pole Junkie

Michelle Dueck, pole dancing student by day, pole dancing teacher by night.

teachpoleAs she drives in her sleek gray car, Michelle Dueck reflects on her journey into the art of pole dancing.

"I've always danced, you know? And the gym's okay, I do go, but I can only do so much in a gym. I did Baton, and I loved it. I wanted to do something as different as that," says Dueck.

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