Calgary is Awesome, and our team is dedicated to everything that makes it that way.

If you want to read ugly, bad news about this beautiful city of ours, you’re going to have to look to traditional media and other blogs; C.I.A. promotes everything that makes Calgary awesome, from old to new and everything in between. We’re like the human interest piece on the news… only different.

Learn more about the awesome folks behind Calgary is Awesome.

Sarah (Managing Editor) Managing Editor: Sarah Pynoo

Sarah is a freelance copywriter/copyeditor. She has been an editor at Calgary is Awesome (Film, followed by Lifestyle) since early 2012, and became Managing Editor in mid-2015. In her free time, she loves volunteering, film, cooking, and exploring the city.

Neighbourhood: Hillhurst
Website: www.scpyn.com
Twitter Handle: @scpyn
Contact: sarah@calgaryisawesome.com

Lifestyle: Heidi Stobert

Heidi moved to Calgary to pursue a career in communications and journalism and loved the city enough to stick around. She begins every day brewing locally roasted coffee in a Chemex, and admits that probably makes her some sort of coffee snob. When she isn’t busy writing, taking photos, or designing things, she tries to satisfy her desire for adventure. Her adventures range from trying out new restaurants, exploring the city on foot, testing out local beers and sometimes gaming when the unpredictable weather is unpredictable.

Neighborhood: Glendale
Twitter: @heidamazeballs
Photography: Heidi’s Flickr
Contact: heidi@calgaryisawesome.com

Ashley Materi Food Culture: Ashley Materi

Like many Calgarians, Ashley is originally from Saskatchewan, but was raised in Calgary. A self-proclaimed sushi connoisseur and lover of words, you can usually find her with her head in a book and a coffee in her hand at whatever hipster hangout has a quiet table. She also writes for the Calgary Journal, and will be graduating from Mount Royal University in 2015. Until then, she continues to blow her budget on sushi and endless bottles of Riesling.

Neighborhood: Manchester
Twitter: @Under_the_seas_
Contact: ashley@calgaryisawesome.com 


Sustainability: Kyla Sergejew

As the Pet Shop Boys said, “go west, where the skies are blue,” so did Kyla, a poor J-school grad, in search of some substantial employment — although, the vibrant skies were a welcomed plus. Born and raised in Guelph, Ont., where a church on a hill dictated the height of all highrises, she had no intention of leaving the southerly province that, to her, had a perfect balance of white winters and dreadfully hot summers. But, when a long-distance call came from Moose Jaw’s one and only broadsheet, Kyla answered with a heave-ho and giant moving truck. Now a graphic artist in Calgary — and freelancing her talents (“free” being the operative word) for friends and family — she enjoys exploring Cowtown, riding the C-Train, walking under shady trees, sifting through dusty records, searching for handwritten notes in old books, and eating cheese every once and a while.

Neighbourhood: Connaught
Twitter: @thanksKYLA
Contact: kyla@calgaryisawesome.com

Tyler Dixon 150 Outdoors: Tyler Dixon

Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years.  He is a teacher with the Calgary Board of Education and is employed at a wilderness-based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction.  Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks.  During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.

Neighbourhood: Killarney
Website: http://envirosschool.blogspot.com/
Twitter Handle: @tcdixon3
Contact: tyler@calgaryisawesome.com

Arts Editor: Teresa Tam

Teresa is currently interested in exploring how to be alright in life. Through the processes of living, she just wants people to feel their own feelings and recognize the richness of what they know. Teresa is the former president of ACADSA.

Neighborhood: Somerset
Instagram: @tangibletams2k15
Website: teresatam.net
Contact: teresa@calgaryisawesome.com

Photography/Cinematography: Vladimir Taikov

Vladimir has been living in Calgary since day one. Growing up, he has experienced and explored everything from the bike paths in Fish Creek to the top of the Bow. At the age of eight, Vladimir developed a passion of photography and film-making, and carries it with him to this day. Currently working on a launch of photography services and products, with like-minded people, he always stays positive no matter what the situation. If he is not capturing photos, or studying, you can most likely find him zipping around from city to city on his bike. His motto “Work More” is what fuels him; his work habits, his effort, his positivity… Teenagers really can have a grand impact.

Neighbourhood: Riverbend
Website: vladimirtaikov.com
Twitter Handle: @vladimirtaikov
Contact: vladimir@calgaryisawesome.com

Fitness: Sarah Ferguson

Sarah has a food problem that is sometimes fixed with a fitness obsession. After graduating with a degree in English and a minor in creative writing at the University of Calgary, she worked in the trenches of customer service and technical writing. Currently, she is perfecting a 5050 on a snowboard and dreaming of white, white snow. Her other obsessions include cuddling cats, playing indie video games, and learning French on Duolingo.

Neighbourhood: Mckenzie Towne
Twitter: @sdafergu
Contact: sarahferguson@calgaryisawesome.com

Bonnie Huang Food: Bonnie Huang

Bonnie grew up in a family that has always put a huge emphasis on food. Every holiday or special occasion was celebrated with cuisines from around the world, so it was inevitable that she developed a love for cooking and eating. Her love of food has drove her to travel the world sampling each culture’s amazing culinary specialties. However, no matter how delicious food is afar, she feels there’s always something special about home. Being born and raised in Calgary, she’s also seen firsthand how the local food scene has evolved and exploded over the recent years. She is excited to be feasting on all the delectable dishes around town and bringing you everything that’s delicious about our city’s ever growing and changing culinary landscape.

Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Twitter: @ScrumpFitFood
Website: http://scrumptiouslyfitfood.blogspot.ca/
Contact: bonnie@calgaryisawesome.com

Profile Picture Sports/History: Bodie Dykstra

Bodie moved to Calgary from small town British Columbia in 2005 to attend university, but after nearly a decade here, he considers himself an established Calgarian. Bodie earned a Master of Arts degree in history in 2014, writes regularly for his sports blog, and has one of Calgary’s finest and most extensive collections of baseball caps.

Neighborhood: Edgemont
Twitter: @bodiedykstra
Website: Bodie’s Baseball Blog
Contact: bodie@calgaryisawesome.com

Tech/Nerd: Kevin de Vlaming

Kevin is a jack of all… most… well, okay, several trades. Originally from Banff, Kevin has spent most of the last decade sampling Calgary’s post-secondary academic offerings. He studied English at the University of Calgary, Journalism at Mount Royal University and Information Technology at SAIT. When he’s not developing software for cattle ranchers or the oil and gas industry, Kevin can be found at rock shows, karaoke bars and cruising the city’s bike paths. He spends the remainder of his time racking up kill streaks in MOBA games, burying his nose between the panels of comic books, and catering to the needs of his jerk cat, Holden. He enjoys writing and not eating meat.

Neighborhood: Sunnyside
Contact: kevin@calgaryisawesome.com

Ryan Stromquist Creative Writing: Ryan Stromquist

Ryan has lived and worked all over Alberta as a farmhand, chef, bartender, and is currently working as a writer and editor for FreeFall Magazine. Add him on Twitter @RyanStrommy  or find him in the real world as a pool hustler at your local dive bar. He lives right next to the Red Mile when tapped into the Calgary arts vein and undercover in the ‘burbs as a loving and devoted boyfriend to his wonderful environmentalist poet girlfriend.

Neighborhood: Mayland Heights
Website: www.freefallmagazine.ca
Contact: ryan@calgaryisawesome.com

Shaleen Ladha Music: Shaleen Ladha

Shaleen is a born and raised Calgarian girl who breathes music. From daily digging for new content on blogs to weekends spent behind DJ booths, (and sometimes trying to DJ herself) she relies on this art form so deeply on an everyday basis. With several close friends in the music industry, Shaleen has learned an awful lot regarding production, studio sessions, songwriting, touring, record labels and academies around the world that shape musicians to be who they are. When not involved with music you can find Shaleen… well, doing nothing!

Neighbourhood: Sandstone
Website: http://shaleenladha.wordpress.com
Twitter: @shaleenl
Contact: shaleen@calgaryisawesome.com

Kirran Bakhsi Food Culture: Kirran Bakshi

Kirran is…only here for the food. And maybe some gorgeous Calgary sunshine. A born and bred Calgary girl, she’s gone in search of food high and low, near and far, experiencing the food culture in the UK, US, and Toronto before moving back to Calgary this year. As somewhat of a “professional student”, Kirran is eagerly re-exploring the flourishing food scene in Calgary by investigating all it has to offer: farmers markets, grocery stores, small shops, local hangouts, and a hidden gem or two. Most of all, Kirran loves getting busy in the kitchen, which is usually where she can be found in her ‘spare’ time; almost everything ends up in photographic form some way or another, so everyone can enjoy the hits and misses (and the occasional near disaster)!

Neighbourhood: Aspen
Website: http://imonlyhereforthefood.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @onlyforthefood
Contact: kirran@calgaryisawesome.com

Literature: Madison Bartlett

Madison is a recent graduate of the University of Calgary’s Communications and Culture program. Here, she completed an undergraduate research project on how Canadian nationalism was conveyed over Twitter during the Sochi 2014 Olympics. When she’s not Instagramming her lunch, or scouting out pinball machines around town, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, or reliving awkward social interactions. Some of her favourite places around Calgary include the Calgary Zoo, the Glenmore Reservoir, Tubby Dog, and Village Ice Cream. Her love for Calgary has grown after working for cool organizations such as Youth Central and Wordfest. As the Literary Editor of Calgary is Awesome, she will get very stressed out if you ask her to name her favourite book.

Neighborhood: Woodbine
Twitter: @MaddyBart
Contact: madison@calgaryisawesome.com

Contributing Editor: Brett Rieger

Brett is a graduate of the University of Lethbridge’s New Media program, and the University of Calgary’s English department. Currently, he works with like-minded, community-focused individuals at First Calgary Financial. Brett’s a retro game enthusiast, still hoping to crack a top 10 score at Tubby Dog.

Neighborhood: Hillhurst
Twitter: @brettrieger
Website: brettrieger.com
Contact: brett@calgaryisawesome.com