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Insire Studio, Gallery and Cafe

Inspire Studio and Gallery on 2nd Street downtown has expanded to include a wonderful café. I’ve gone there a couple times in the past week and was greeted with great service each time. I am excited to see that they carry The Pop Shoppe drinks along with my favourite flavour, black cherry. According to our server they will have wireless internet available in the future as well. I will list the hours below but I was particularly excited to see that they are open until 10pm on Wed-Fri.

If you plan on checking it out around lunch time I would arrive a little early as the place was packed and a couple people were waiting for a table to open up. Not to mention the parking on 2nd street seems to be in much higher demand. The portions may seem small to some but the food we had was quite good and I was full afterwards anyways. Our club sandwiches cost us $7.00 while our soup and salad (I chose the julienne carrots with a citrus/cumin dressing) were an extra $2.00. I meant to take a picture of the menu as well but alas, I forgot. Some other items were a vegetable shepherd’s pie or baked potato with various toppings including chili. They have an assortment of delicious looking deserts as well. Definitely going back to try the apple cake next time.

The atmosphere of the café is quite welcoming as well. Since it is a part of the Inspire Gallery there is a lot of interesting and diverse art peppered throughout the café. I was impressed with the condition of the old floors and the red tables and white walls provide a really nice contrast.

Also, here are the hours the gallery and café are open (taken from Inspire Studio and Gallery facebook page):

“Inspire Studio & Gallery has moved into its new location and Inspire Café is now open at 669 (Studio)-675 (Café) 2nd Street S.E. Studio hours are Tuesday to Saturday 12:00-5:00pm. Café hours are Mon-Tues 9:00am-5:00pm, Wed-Fri 9:00am-10:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm and Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm.”

If you want to read more about how the café came to be here is an article in the Medicine Hat News from December of last year:

Link provided by Laconic Designs. Story by Great Places.

Often times Great Places represent the unique character and history of a place that can’t be found elsewhere and in the same way. The history of the clay industry in Medicine Hat for over a hundred years has been sustainable as working industries, a neighbourhood and now as a framework for the Canadian Badlands Tourism Strategy. Most importantly the pride, the stories and the connections over time are being preserved and built upon through the heritage value of Medalta Potteries, Hycroft China and I-XL Industries. This Historic Clay District (a National Historic Site of Canada) is a unique place to experience and share. The District genuinely takes you to a special place in time.

The Historic Clay District is a broad area that is made up of several historic working industries. Medalta Potteries is central to others in the area which includes Hycroft China Ltd, and I-XL Brick. Medalta is continuing on several phases of redevelopment as a living, working museum and education facility with the Medalta International Artists in Residence Program. Later phases of redevelopment will include Hycroft China and I-XL Brick. A new Area Redevelopment Plan has recently been completed to enhance the pedestrian connectivity and public realm in support of the overall National Clay Industries Historic Site.

The Historic Clay District is accessible to all given it’s a working, living museum. Modes of transportation and accessibility issues will be further addressed through enhancement of the area both in the redevelopment of buildings and in the Area Redevelopment Plan. Currently the majority of the public space in within the Medalta Potteries however, the site is also designed for outdoor events and activities in summer months.

The site is sitting in a natural landscape at the city’s eastern boundary therefore, framed with clay escarpment, surrounding creeks and topography. Recent flooding in June 2010 affected the natural environment significantly as did it I-Xl Brick such that, after 100 years of operation, has had to close its doors. Protection and enhancement is an area that is currently being reviewed further and addressed given such flooding.

The Historic Clay District is what defines the River Flats community’s character and personality…it is a diverse and well-established community that celebrates its history and this has been reinforced with the recent Area Redevelopment Plan work. The natural prairie and escarpment landscape surround the site are what make it what it is. The clay came from the escarpment so there is a whole history in that aspect. Maintaining the area’s openness to views of the escarpment and natural topography significantly supports the District. Given it includes two creeks that are a part of a significant open space system further enhances the existing natural features. It is what makes the River Flats community sustainable and supports the history and sense of place for the community and city.

If you think Medicine Hat Clay Industries, and Medicine Hat deserves to be named one of the greatest places in Canada, please vote.

My name is Dana Gackle, and I just bought into Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness in November. Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness has some of the best instructors there is, and our strengths are health, fitness and nutrition. It really is a important to have a combination of all aspects.

There are three studios within Heartbreaker, and I purchased two of them, and the original owner, Marla Howard, kept one. Although I am new to the business ownership, Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness has been in operation for five years!

Marla kept the studio called “The Energy Studio” and that studio specializes in Bootcamp style workouts from 6am to 8pm, as well as TRX, i-Flow, Kettlebells, Zumba classes, the Original Bikini Contest, and one-on-one Nutrition.

I have taken another route, so that we can compliment each other’s class offerings. In the “Spin Studio”, I offer more specialized classes and brought in or brought back a variety of new and exciting classes that I am still in the “building stage of”, such as Kickboxing, Yummy Mommy (for moms to workout with their babies), Kids Fitness, Dangerous Curves, Spin Classes, Boxing Classes, an Eat Clean / Work Smarter Support Group, and Noon Hour Sweat Free Workouts so people can go back to work without being all sweaty.

In my second studio, called “The Fantasy Lounge” and is located upstairs, and is a beautiful studio setting to Yoga, Pilates, Pole-Fitness and Burlesque classes and Workshops. We also offer Private Group Bookings for Stagettes, Birthday Parties and Girls Night Out. THE JUMP – Read the rest of this entry »

Image taken from the SPCA Website

Image taken from the SPCA Website

In the latest trending Ticked Off topic, apparently some people think the city should aid seniors instead of the SPCA.

It’s on the city councils priority list to address the need for an expanded animal shelter; not urgent just yet, but as the city continues to grow the need will increase. It seems the city is simply looking towards expanding the center and don’t intend to start funding for it. Unfortunately, the SPCA currently receives no ongoing sources of funding from any level of government, so they rely on donations, grants, and community support. As of January 7, 2011, the organization was at full capacity.

Some believe that people come before animals. So what happens when the shelter cannot accept more unwanted pets? According to the SPCA, most dogs arrive about 9 months to 1 year of age, as it takes this long for people to realize they’re not suited for raising a pet. While the idea of adoption is to hope someone can care for it better, it would certainly be incentive to keep the pet if you know the only other option is to leave it on the street.

Medicine Hat SPCA

STRUCK GALLERY, previously known as Sandfly Gallery & Gifts is closing at the end of January. As part of the downtown art community, the gallery will be missed leaving only 3-4 art related shops downtown. It’s not all bad though, the STRUCK GALLERY will continue to sell online after the physical closing. There will be one last event, Saturday, January 22nd where many artists will be offering discounted prices for the full day.

As explained by Wendy Struck, owner of the gallery:

Hi Everyone

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. After some time off I am back in the gallery and open for the month of January. Thank you for your support in 2010!

I have big news for the new year. I have decided to close the gallery as of January 31, 2011. This was not an easy decision.It required much thought, reflection and discussions with family, friends, and professionals. In considering where I am in my life and art career, I felt this was the best decision for me.

I will indeed miss being a gallery owner/operator in downtown Medicine Hat. I will always be committed to promoting the value of the arts. I have some plans to organize site specific group exhibitions and other projects. I will be sure to advertise and post these projects through email, on facebook, newsletters and my website.

Going forward I will be spending more time on my own art practise and pursuing a variety of other opportunities. I will continue to offer art classes and workshops, based out of Gainsboro Photography Studio. STRUCK GALLERY will also remain online, selling my own mixed media, painting and fine objects. Visit the facebook page and website for updates.

STRUCK GALLERY will host one last event on Saturday January 22. This will be a party to thank our customers and artists for their support. Many artists, including myself, will be offering discounted prices for this ONE DAY ONLY event. Please take advantage of this opportunity to collect original, quality work of art, pottery, jewellery and more. I will be sending invitations and more information very soon. I hope you can come out to celebrate. Please spread the word to your family, friends and co-workers.

We all know that as one door closes, another one opens, so I will be going forward with excitment and enthusiasm. Happy New Year!

Sports Connection Source For Sports Double Feature

Sports Connection Source For Sports Double Feature

Sports Connection Source For Sports will be the host to an upcoming double feature at The Monarch Theatre on October 1st, 2010. The event is a fundraiser to support a local hockey team and will showcase two classic hockey films: Slap Shot (1977) and Youngblood (1986).

Ticket are $20 and are available at Sports Connection Source For Sports, located at 833 Kingsway Ave SE. The purchase of a ticket includes both movies and a beverage. As alcohol and hockey usually go hand-in-hand, alcohol will also be available for purchase.

Come dressed up in your favourite retro hockey jersey for a chance to win an authentic Dave “Killer” Carlson signed jersey.

For more information, check out

Check out Sports Connection Source For Sports for more sport goods information in Medicine Hat

On Saturday, September 25th, the Home Business Show & Sale will be happening at the Moose Lodge from 10AM-4PM. There is no cost for entering and is featuring more than 25 local home businesses, including:

  • Usborne Books
  • Epicure
  • Pampered Chef
  • Avon
  • Inspired
  • Steeped Tea
  • Silpada
  • Stampin’ Up
  • String Theory School of Music
  • Pidlubny Productions

The show is in support of the Medicine Hat & District Food Bank with the door prize worth over $200 retail. Tickets for the door prize will be $2 each and all proceeds will go to the food bank. They will also be accepting cash and food donations at the show.

For more information contact Cris at or call 403-488-4168

Persian Dreams & Canine Themes Rescue Society is a Canadian Registered Non-Profit organization. The society was created in January of 2007, and is located in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Their mission is “To find permanent loving homes for all of the animals in our care and for those yet to come.”

Persian Dreams help cats, small dogs, and animals in distress. They do not have a facility to house the animals so our animals rely on the generosity of foster homes to care, love and train them. The society provides the foster family with basic supplies, veterinary care, and guidance. The animals in their care are spayed or neutered, vet checked, vaccinated, and micro chipped before being adopted.

The Society would like to acknowledge the Government of Alberta, Culture and Community Spirit for the Community Spirit Grant. The funding helped provide veterinary care for some of our animals improving their quality of life. Special thanks goes out to all the community members who donate and to all the volunteers for their hard work.

If you are interested in meeting one of our foster animals or would like to foster or make a donation, please call either 403-526-4399 or 403-529-0707, or email them at

Pidlubny Productions is a brand new video production company specializing in professional wedding, event and corporate videography.

They are professionally trained and experienced, using broadcast standard equipment. Whether it’s your wedding, your child’s little league championship game, daughter’s dance recital or your school’s graduation that you want preserved on video, they will work with you to customize a package to suit your budget.

If your run your own business and have your own website or a business Facebook account, why not have a video on your site showcasing your expertise and all that you have to offer your customers?

Do your costumers have a lot of questions on how to use your products? Do you spend a lot of time training staff? Why not have a training video explaining it all in an easy to understand step-by-step guide.

No matter what your video needs are, Pidlubny Productions will work with you to deliver a production that looks professional and that’s within your budget.

Call for a free demonstration and consultation today. 403.526.0286.

I have been to pretty much every grocery store in town and they all have their ups and their downs, but Safeway seems to be the slowest in terms of “get in and get out.” The marketing strategy that Safeway seems to convey is to have a clean store with good service. They absolutely have the clean store down and their shelves and bins are always stocked, but their service is very mediocre.

I like going to Safeway because I find their fruit and vegetables to usually be clean, nicely stocked and devoid of bruises, and the Safeway club card seems to minimize an enormous bill. The associates who work in the deli and pharmacy always seem very attentive and quick in servicing customers, but then you get to the nightmare of checking out.

In my experience, checking out at Safeway is a slow grueling task that makes shopping there not worth it at all. Unless you go shopping way later in the evening, the lines, whether express or not, always seem to take at least 15-20 minutes, then another 5-8 minutes to check out your groceries. There never seems to be enough cashiers on hand. For instance, the last time I was at Safeway, there were 20 people waiting in line for 4 tills, 2 of which were express lanes. It took me about 15 minutes to stand in line, wait, and check out my 5 items.

If I can help it, I will probably not go back to Safeway unless it is either very early in the morning or later in the evening to help minimize the amount of people in the checkout lanes.

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