The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal


Philanthropist and adventurer determined to raise $1 million for international children

righttoplayApproximately 20 hours had passed since Martin Parnell and his guides Lau and Kidori began their ascent up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The air was thin and their extremities near freezing, but they had a schedule to stick to. With nothing but hydration packs on their backs, the next hour would prove not only to be a physical breakthrough, but a mental one for the small group.

On the evening of March 7, 2013, Parnell, along with his guides, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 21 hours, — a nearly impossible feat. The summit of the highest freestanding mountain in the world is usually conquered in five days.

Parnell became an adventurer with a taste for marathon running later in his life. Having completed his first marathon at 50 in 2003, Parnell says he knew running was something that would keep him busy. "I was never much for sport but I always knew I could run and run and run," he said.

Local artist creates reconstructive tattoo business post-breast surgery to make a world of difference

tattoothumbIt's a quiet afternoon inside Stacie-Rae Weir's studio, Sacred Space. The artist, making herself comfortable at her "second home," leans back in her desk chair. She turns up the metal music she's selected from her sleek apple desktop, acknowledging that it may clash with the intended ambiance of the studio.

The quaint and clean space is calm and inviting, painted with pastel colors and immersed in soft scents. It feels perfectly suitable for healing services. Few may realize the main service is tattooing, specifically for women seeking areola — the area of the nipple that is removed during a mastectomy — reconstructive services.

Weir tucks her bright red-streaked hair behind her pierced and stretched ears, placing her head in her hands. Her colourful arms are a portfolio of art and read the words "luck" and "love" when placed together. She takes a deep breath.

After a shoulder injury, Ted Stovin makes an unsuspecting comeback

Stovin1thumbMany people search years to find a career that would satisfy their passions for life. The iconic "dream job" is elusive for many, but at just 23, Ted Stovin has forged his own dream job out of thin air.

After growing up with rodeo for most of his life, Ted Stovin found his natural path as a bull rider, but after obtaining a shoulder injury early on in his career, Stovin happened upon a new calling.

When he was just 20, Stovin attended a workshop in Florida to build his own website. Not quite sure what it was going to be, he called it Everything Cowboy.

"It was really just a niche to be filled," he said. "I went to a bull riding, and at that time, I was recovering from a shoulder surgery. I filmed it all on my phone and put those videos on my website and people started watching."

Former Flames television play-by-play man now rebuilding his career in radio with Rogers Sportsnet

LouBardias 002thumbJuly 13, 2011 was the lowest day in the career, and possibly life, of Peter Loubardias.

A quick Internet search shows that three suicide bombers hit Mumbai, India on that day. Loubardias didn't have time for world news: he was focused on the implosion of his own career that summer day in Calgary.

Loubardias, then 45, had finished his third year of being the play-by-play man for Rogers Sportsnet's television broadcasts of Calgary Flames games. It was his dream job.

Then, he was called to a meeting with his boss at a downtown Calgary hotel: Loubardias was on the chopping block.

Sitting in the lower bowl of the Scotiabank Saddledome, Loubardias is wearing a dark grey suit and black shoes, the usual style of broadcasters, while sitting with his fingers entwined and his left foot resting on his knee.