Our time in Calgary, Canada, kicked-off with an art and culinary food tour at the 185-room Hotel Arts, our host hotel.
Culinary Experiences abound in Calgary. Our firsthand brush with the city’s hyperlocal bites began with Calgary Food Tours, which shared some of the history of the hotel’s artwork as we feasted on eggs benedict, yogurt parfaits, mimosas and more from the property’s esteemed Yellow Door Bistro restaurant.
The tour also took us to notable museums where we had the chance to meet local artists and experience the popular dining venue Ten Foot Henry, the Calgary Public Library and The Cookbook Company, where groups can take a cooking class, sample local cheeses as we did, or browse for a best-selling cook book on regional dishes. The tour’s grand finale was a wine sampling of Rose de Syrah at Metro Vino next door. Uncommon food experiences quickly became an underlying theme of our visit. Erin Dawson, director of sales and marketing with the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and Meetings +Conventions Calgary, offered another fun, “must-try” creative foodie experience.
“Local restaurants partner with Calgary’s Beakerhead festival to create ‘Engineered Eats’ every September. Dining is a whole new experience when chef and bartender become scientists! Groups can explore molecular cocktails and engineered temptations at over 25 participating bars and restaurants.”
Back at the hotel, groups have 11,500 sf of meeting space at their disposal and can try poolside yoga or take a cruiser bike out for a spin during downtime.
Another case in point on Calgary’s distinct F&B: A boxed lunch of chicken, veggies and potato salad while taking in a traditional western rodeo from Calgary Stampede’s stadium seats. The rodeo was a unique way to break up a day of meetings and conferences, while also giving attendees a taste of Calgary’s culture. Excitement exuded from the crowd as we waited for the cowboys and cowgirls to take center stage along with their horse or bull. Bull runs to bareback riding, and a live country concert in between, the Calgary Stampede provided energized entertainment to the crowd of professionals. It also offers meetings and event spaces where you can host your own unique western experiences, costumes and all.
“As an urban centre surrounded by scenic Canadian vistas, Calgary’s diversity as a meeting and convention destination is its greatest strength,” Dawson adds.
The recently opened National Music Centre at Studio Bell marked the spot for our final night’s celebration. Five floors of exhibits—including interactive songwriting and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame—express Canada’s musical history. The recently restored Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, a recording studio on wheels, marks the spot where the Stones, Fleetwood Mac and other legends wrote some of their iconic tracks. Showcasing local culinary flair was also on the agenda at Studio Bell, which offered samples from local restaurants, Canadian wines and beers, and munchies served out of outdoor food trucks.