Calgary Is Awesome, and we are 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 people who write for Calgary is Awesome.

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


Sarah Pynoo Sarah Pynoo

Sarah is a freelance writer and editor, as well as the marketing/sales coordinator for AG Silver, a locally owned independent jewellery boutique. In her spare time, she loves volunteering, film, cooking, and exploring Calgary.


Neighbourhood: Hillhurst
Twitter Handle: @scpyn

Tyler Dixon 150 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
Twitter Handle: @tcdixon3

Joanna Schwartz Johanna Schwartz

 Johanna has been wandering the streets of Calgary looking for something to do since her teen years in the 80s. She keeps finding cool things to do, so she hasn’t left yet. She also likes to help other people make this city interesting by doing all the boring stuff for them, like grant writing and event organizing.  She is a podcast and comedy nerd and doesn’t know how to drive a car.

Neighbourhood: Tuxedo
Twitter: @janedoughnut
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Bonnie Huang 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

Ryan Stromquist 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

Shaleen Ladha 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
Twitter: @shaleenl

Kirran Bakhsi 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
Twitter: @onlyforthefood
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laura_bridgman Laura Bridgman

Laura believes in saying “yes” and figuring out the rest later. “Yes” has led to many funny stories, and it’s what brought her to Calgary. But it all started in her hometown of Toronto. It was talking to strangers while pursuing a post-grad degree in public relations that sparked her passion of meeting new people and telling their stories. When she’s not writing, you can find her at the closest gym or fitness studio, coffee shop, or on Twitter. Laura is also a freelance writer an editor, and the giggles and fun behind the life & style blog scribbles&sass.

Neighborhood: Beltline
Twitter: @laurabridgman

Greg McCarthy Greg McCarthy

Greg can often be spotted with a local beer on a sunny 17th Avenue patio or in the front row of a dingy indie music venue. As an avid non-spandex bicycle rider, you may have seen Greg cruising by with baguettes in his basket and a coffee in hand. You may also have overheard him arguing loudly in public about philosophy, politics or the local festival scene; a bad habit he developed while completing his undergraduate at University of Calgary.

He may put on a suit and smile like all the other young professionals: don’t be fooled! Professional life is nothing but the outmost cuticle and mortal coil. Real life happens with a beer in hand, music in the air and a bicycle between the legs.

Neighborhood: Beltline
Twitter: @G_Mc_C

Ashley Materi 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_
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