Feature Profiles

Two years after the flood, family finally finds new home

Uncertainty has finally come to an end for one Alberta family

thumb FamilyOutsideNewHouseBarbara Shwytky remembers the day her house flooded as being oddly sunny, hinting at nothing out of the ordinary to happen on a lovely June day. The radio was tuned in to the news all day at the dental hygienist office where she worked.

"I ended up going home an hour early and on the way home police cars and speedboats were passing me and I was like, 'Oh my goodness,'" said Shwytky.

"All the phones were down so I couldn't get a hold of anyone, and I got home and all the alarms were going off."

What had happened didn't sink in until the next day at the Blackie Evacuation Centre where the family of five had been relocated.


Musician plays through hard economic times despite vision loss

High River Fiddler Craig West

WestthumbCraig West, 42, reaches out in front of himself as he carefully shuffles his way to the living room of his High River home. The couch meets his reach, letting West know he's arrived at his destination. Next, he searches for his violin case and once he locates it, unclasps the buckles, releasing his instrument from its hard shell retainer. A small grin lights up his face as the strings of the violin invite him to play a new song for a new day.


Calgary entertainment scene grows with Japanese magician

How Atsushi Ono is making a life for himself as a magician in Calgary

thumb AtsushiCardTrickWhen most people think of magicians, they may think of clowns or cheesy entertainment at a children's party.

Japanese magician Atsushi Ono, however, is seeking to change the Calgary entertainment scene by providing a professional form of magic.

Ono, 36, was born in Japan but moved to Calgary in 2008 with his partner, Naomi. Ono credits his love of performing in front of crowds to gymnastics, which took up most of his youth. He finished his gymnastics career when he graduated university with a business degree. At that point, Ono had only fiddled with magic.


The Drawing Board

Mark Kowalchuk talks art, boarding culture, networking & being proactive


Since before he could remember, Mark Kowalchuk has dreamed of being an artist. But his psychedelic scenes, full of thick lines and vibrant colour, wouldn't be on snowboards, skateboards and band merchandise around the world without his persistent networking and a little help from his friends.

He has come a long way from his humble roots of sketching designs for snowboard graphics on napkins with a BIC pen, to now creating illustrations and graphic designs as a full-time career.

"Some people don't ever know what they want to do," says Kowalchuk. "By the time they asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I always kind of knew I was going to be an artist of some sort."