I don’t know about you but, I don’t want to go back to ‘normal’ when this pandemic is over. It just wasn’t that great. We accepted, without much question, inequality, disparity, pollution, exhaustion, disconnection, over-consumption and all the associated problems. It wasn’t sustainable. Honestly, I am enjoying the slower pace. I’m making more connections despite the isolation and I’m breathing cleaner air with less traffic. I want our new ‘normal’ to include this, while also ensuring every Calgarian has a safe home, secure access to healthy food, and a good quality of life. So how do we go about doing it?

When we’re in a hurry just trying to survive we’re left with little time to dream. I think our relentless focus on keeping a roof over our heads and food on our tables in a dog eat dog world has stunted our ability to think critically. We suffer from a collective lack of imagination. We simply don’t have time to envision anything better. But, we can choose to make Calgary better now. We can influence our leaders to take the right steps to build the city we want to live in a post-pandemic world.

I am creating a coffee table book about the world’s greatest city – Calgary. This city doesn’t exist yet but it will come to life through your vision. I want every empty plot lot, every traffic congested road, every community neighbourhood to be reimagined. Let’s put those ideas on paper in the form of drawings and painting so we can all see and share in the vision. An illustrated compilation of ideas from artists, designers and trendsetters around the city will become an influential, grassroots tool we’ll use to build a new and improved normal. It will be effective because it will represent what you, the citizens, actually want. It will be filled with your dreams – a Calgary 2.0!

To make submissions, email a jpeg or PDF along with a short written description to Written pieces or ideas about music, recreation, entertainment, fashion, maps, photographs, renderings, even recipes using local indigenous edible plants are all welcome. You will be notified if your submission is chosen to be included in the book. Copyright and financial compensation will be negotiated at that time. All submissions will be kept strictly confidential and will not be reproduced in any form without written consent. Submission deadline has been extended to August 15, 2020.

I have included my vision of the 1200 block of 1 Street SW as an example (see images below) of what you might want to submit, but there are endless ideas. For example, you could reimagine what Memorial Drive would look like if there was no roads and just one big beautiful park, maybe you have an idea about future local fashion trends that might be specific to Calgary, what if city owned golf courses were converted to urban farms or what if tent camping was allowed in Nose Hill Park?

YYC Growers Food Boxes

Every Wednesday from 4 pm to 7 pm 

Purchase weekly food boxes from YYC Growers and Distributors for pick up at my shop every Wednesday. YYC Growers food boxes include a diverse medley of vegetables and other crops like mushrooms, honey and eggs from over 15 local farms. As a cooperative they are owned by the farmers that grow your food. Every week is different so you never get bored and can enjoy a healthy, varied diet. And of course, your purchases support your local farmers and help build food sustainability in Calgary and area. Be sure to place your order by the Friday before to Wednesday pickup.

Pandemic Update: Making the Case For

Universal Basic Income (UBI) NOW!

Saturday, March 21, 2020 

I am writing this post because I am seriously concerned for myself, my neighbours and struggling Canadians across Canada. I am not endorsing one political party over another. I am non-partisan. To be honest, I haven’t been impressed by any of our political leaders in a very long time. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I am using what small following I have here to encourage you to take action and demand real financial help. I think a Universal Basic Income is our best bet right now. If we could get this in place, I think we could really set the stage to come out on the other side of this pandemic a much better society. A society that cares for each other and our environment and truly operates sustainably. Please read my case below, check out the links I included and share the crap out of it. Thank you! Stay healthy.
— Solita
I am watching in horror as this pandemic unfolds. I am frustrated at how inadequate the Federal Government’s financial package is. So many schools and businesses have closed without any idea when they’ll reopen, employees have been layed off in droves and self-employment earnings have completely dried up. Our economic engine has almost completely grinded to a halt and no financial certainty in sight. It’s becoming woefully clear how little we have invested in people, especially healthcare. We don’t have even close to enough capacity to deal with the number of patients that will need ICU let alone current existing health needs. Our leaders fully expect that a majority of us will get the virus but in order to space it out so we don’t overwhelm our system, we will need to endure months maybe years of isolation, not just weeks. We need to put in place a long term plan. We will not be able to resume the same lifestyle after this is done.
Financial aid can’t come soon enough. The current Federal government’s proposal includes a series of supposedly fast tracked EI applications, emergency fund applications, tax deferrals and limited employee subsidies. None of these measures will provide help soon enough for the more than 50% of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque. Some will not even be available to apply for these funds until April. Worse, how will these applications be processed in a timely, efficient manner to make a difference? There will be millions. How will families pay for rent, mortgages, utilities or food in the interim? What about those who don’t meet the criteria but still need aid? How can we help citizens stay safe and healthy without financial security?
We can ensure security with a universal basic income. It’s easy to implement. Every Canadian adult who has filed a tax return would automatically be sent enough income to cover basic necessities such as food and shelter. Every adult would be sent the same amount to streamline the efficiency of distributing the aid as quickly as possible. The UBI would be accounted for on the next year’s tax return. Higher income earners would pay it back in taxes. Lower income earners would get to keep the income. Still think this isn’t fair? Consider this. People can’t spend money they don’t have. The money will go directly to those that need it most instead of big business that has already proved that the ‘trickle down effect’ does not work. The Federal government will see returns right away through the GST. Citizens will not have to worry about paying rent or mortgages. Small businesses could remain open and continue to sell goods. Citizens will have money to spend. We’ve proven that we can operate in the digital world. We can help set up new systems to keep us secure yet isolated until a vaccine is produced. Then those new systems can be used to help us rebuild a better way to live here in Canada. 
Still worried the ultra rich will receive the UBI? A UBI could be distributed based on 2018 tax returns, those earning above a certain amount would receive nothing. Worried that our government will not be able pay for it? Tax the wealthy and use the proceeds to cover the costs. The Canadian Government could also re-nationalize the most lucrative private corporations, especially utility companies, and use the capital and earnings to support Canadians? All provincial governments should be asking how to support UBI. This is our country, our citizens, our friends, families and co-workers. We need to look after each other. We can make things better for everyone and a universal basic income can do this. Please demand this from our government. These are people we elected to make decisions in our best interest. We don’t have time for greed. Further measures need to include a moratorium on evictions and debt payment referrals for the short term while we get a new standard in place. Our economic system is already broken. Now is our chance to build a new system that will work for everyone. 
We’re all in this together.
More information:

Mad Max Ride YYC (Postponed)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Save the date! More details coming soon!

The MAD MAX RIDE YYC is a FREE family friendly bike parade rolling through downtown Calgary. All modes of non-motorized active transport are welcome to enter (bicycles, roller blades, skateboards, strollers, wheel chairs). There will be prizes for best costumes and best decorated wheels including a prize for best family costume. The ride is a fun event that not only supports art, music and costume but also showcases alternative active transportation options all while engaging a wide range of community members in our city. This year, we are planning to also host an off-grid after party with entirely pedal powered music, including local food, beverages and a zero-waste market.







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