Feature Profiles

The painful battle to find accessible housing

After a tragic biking accident left Patrick Lewis paralyzed, he still can't leave the Foothills Medical Centre until he finds wheelchair accessible housing in Calgary

LewisTHUMBThe walls are stark white, and the floor, a worn-down peach. Sounds of continuously beeping hospital machines and attentive nurses linger all around. The room appears perfectly divided, as a single sheet separates two occupied hospital beds. It appears lived in with small home-like knick-knacks, making it clear that Patrick Lewis' stay has been long term on Unit 58, Neuro Rehabilitation.

It has been five months since Lewis, age 23, received the tragic news that he would remain in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The Foothills Medical Centre has been his home since Oct. 4 2014. Despite his wishes to leave, it hasn't been his wheelchair holding him back – but his inability to acquire accessible housing here in Calgary. He is one of many living in Calgary's hospitals for the same reason.


Modern Menswear brings Calgary men European influenced style

A trip to Europe inspired owner Drew Rudichuk to open a men's clothing store to enhance the fashion culture in Calgary

thumb finalbothDrew Rudichuk, the 27–year-old owner of Modern Menswear, is bringing some European flare to Calgary.

According to Rudichuk, men's fashion in Calgary is very safe.

In mid September of 2014, Rudichuk opened his clothing store for the men of Calgary to come and shop for different and original brands.

This store fulfilled Rudichuk's desire to bring in brands that no one else sells in Calgary such as Wood Wood, Han Kjobenhavn and Wemoto and provides an environment where men can feel comfortable and excited about buying new clothes.


Jamaican food stall gives Necole Hines freedom to dream

Calgary woman leaves poverty behind to start her own business

thumb finalvertThe rich aroma of Jamaican jerk spices —pimentos, cinnamon, cloves and Scotch bonnet peppers — fills the air at Wings n Tings, Necole Hines' food stall at Crossroads Market. Hines bounces constantly around less than 100 sq. ft. of space. She pops a pan of freshly-made vegetable patties into the oven, then turns around to the stainless steel sink to wash as many dishes as she can in between cheerfully serving customers plates of patties, rice and peas and her signature jerk chicken wings.

Originally from Toronto and born to Jamaican parents, Hines moved to Calgary 10 years ago. A year later, she left a difficult marriage and struck out on her own, taking her three young sons with her.

For the next three years, Hines worked a succession low-paying jobs, struggling to make ends meet as she raised three growing boys on her own. Poverty, she said, stifled her ability to dream about the future.


Calgarian explores Eastern medicine

Chris Munstermann's health problems shaped his career as an acupuncturist

thumb GarthDymentfinalOne man's family health struggles and loss of his best friend, have forced him to find compassion for himself so he can discover who he is.

Chris Munstermann, 32-years-old, grew up in the Deer Run area of Calgary, Alta. As a young boy, Munstermann faced a long line of hardships, which ranged from watching his best friend move away, to living with his mom as she battled cancer.

Due to these circumstances, Munstermann was thrust into an adult role early on.

"My oldest friend moved away when I was 13," says Munstermann. "That split was something I couldn't get over for the longest time."