An Insider's Guide to Calgary

Living like a local with Andrew Mosker

Photo by Jared Sych

For Andrew Mosker, president and CEO of the National Music Centre (which moves into its new building, called Studio Bell, this summer), Calgary’s entrepreneurial energy has created a city of great artists, live music and exceptional restaurants. Here he shares a few of his favourite spots. 

The new National Music Centre 

“The 22 exhibition spaces will be constantly developing content related to the story of music in Canada. We have a 300-seat theatre that opens to the entire atrium—[there’s] not another indoor space like that to experience music. And live music will come back to the [adjacent] King Eddy—an iconic live music venue when it was last operating, well over

10 years ago.”

For live music

The Palomino, Ironwood Stage & Grill and The HiFi Club once in a while [for] electronic music. Wine-Ohs has [also] come a long way. I think it’s a great room. And Mikey’s Juke Joint is great for roots, blues, rockabilly and soul.”

Where to eat

“[I like] Rea’s Italian Cucina. It’s run by an Italian family. It’s old-school Italian food. Heavy sauces, great pizza, veal parmigiana. I know the family and they treat you right.” 

Favourite local chef

“I really am a fan of chef Dominique Moussu’s restaurants in the city. Suzette Bistro in Mission is good value and has fantastic [French] food and a wonderful ambience. I highly recommend it.” 

Where to shop for instruments

“Vintage Music—around every corner, there’s a surprise waiting. I also like Guitarworks [for acoustics] on 16th Avenue N.W.” 

Favourite neighbourhood

“Where [I] live, in Crescent Heights. It has good amenities for families, independent retail, restaurants—all within walking distance and with a great view of the city. I like the urban edge of the neighbourhood.”  

Art appreciation 

Esker Foundation [Contemporary Art Gallery]—I love its location in Inglewood, the quality and uniqueness of its exhibitions and the overall design of the space.”

For vinyl-hunting

Recordland [in Inglewood]. The selection of used vinyl is fantastic. It feels like a prized campus radio station record library.”