Ten things Calgary desparately needs

By Editorial

A bit of grit.

There’s a reason why Edmonton always beats us at every sport. We are pansies. Fire some city workers and let the sidewalks crack for a couple years, then see who’s laughing.

An outdoor concert venue at Nose Hill.
A Hollywood Bowl Greek-style theatre built right into the hill would provide an nice venue for Calgary’s nouveau riche to experience everything that’s expected of them. Keep it cheap and maybe everyone could enjoy it.

A third newspaper.
Who can honestly say they wouldn’t appreciate a change from the meter-deep rut where the two current dailies find themselves spewing the same philosophy to two different classes? Polls show 30 per cent of Calgarians hate Klein politics–that’s a nice share and this market is ripe.

A mid-sized music venue.
There is no good reason why you must go west to catch the Flaming Lips or the Charlatans. A 5,000 seat venue would hook these bands inland to Calgary music lovers who are hungry for bigger talent.
Right now bands are either playing 300 to 400 seat downtown bars or the 17,000 seat Saddledome. Honourable mention goes to our own Mac Hall Ballroom, the Jack Singer and Max Bell Arena but they have nothing on Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.

Law requiring more than one set of blueprints to build a community.
Developers make huge bucks plopping their cookie-cutter shacks on the ever-further tracks of grassland. Houses in the new developments past Highway 22x stand shoulder to cloned shoulder in Twilight-Zone-ish conformity all in three shades of the same pastel. This is a travesty to the human condition and downright creepy.

Scrap the sound by-law.
It’s the reason you have to go to Vancouver or Edmonton to see bands like U2 or Pink Floyd. It’s the reason the Jazz and Folk Festivals must end by 10 p.m. on warm long summer nights. It’s time people accepted the fact they live next to a huge football stadium or right in the heart of downtown.

A drive-in theatre.
After the Hub Oil explosion dusted the last of the Calgary drive-ins, we’ve been left out in the cold.

Bring the Stampede rodeo events winnings in line with reality.
The half-million dollar rodeo may seem like a big deal to us, but to the rest of the rodeo-inclined world $50,000 per event in prize money is laughable. The NRC championship pays five times that amount. And stop talking about that time Bobby Kennedy was parade marshall. In fact…

Replace the Stampede with something absurd and delightful.
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth may bring in some money, but stop kidding yourselves into thinking it’s world famous. Mardi Gras, Rio’s Carnival, the running of the bulls–these are world famous. The Stampede is the time between SaskatoonFest and Klondike Days. So what do you replace it with?

Maybe you’ve seen on the nature channel when the Spanish government dumps tonnes of tomatoes into the street then lets people fight in the resulting sauce… something like that.

We may need people from out of town to think something up.

A meteorite to hit and demolish the new convention centre.
Does anybody really know how it came to be that diamond-shaped, purple reflective mirrors make up an entire wall of this shortsighted and over-budget eyesore?


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