Guide to Small Business Shopping in Calgary!

Shop local for the holidays!

We are doing a three-part series on some local small businesses to support this holiday season and this new year (especially for gift giving)! With the new COVID-19 restrictions this week, it’s important to shop and support local.

Books + Stationary

Art + Art Supplies

Zero Waste + Wellness

Games + Music

September 25 Global Climate Strike

This fall, school strike movement Fridays For Future calls for a global climate action day. On September 25th, demonstrations and manifestations will take place all across the globe, all adjusted according to Covid-19 circumstances.

During the last few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced activists to find new ways of protest and use digital activism to demand climate action, as marches have not been appropriate. The 25th of September will be the first global action day of the year.

The coming months and years will be crucial in ensuring a safe pathway below 1.5°C increase in global mean temperature, a target stated in the Paris Agreement. If we are to minimise the risks of triggering irreversible chain reactions beyond human control, we need to act now. It is therefore vital that the climate crisis doesn’t get forgotten in the shadow of the coronavirus but is regarded as the utmost priority. Fridays For Future will keep protesting as long as the exploitation of nature is allowed to continue. We must continue to encourage our municipal government as well as other levels of government to take climate action and pass a green new deal.

The form of this protest has been adjusted according to local Covid-19 conditions. We have decided to plan a small, in-person protest outside of Calgary City Hall with no more than fifty people attending. In order to uphold this limit, we ask all who wish to participate in the in-person strike to sign up here. All those in attendance will be required to socially distance and wear masks. We also ask that if people wish to hold up a sign, that they bring or make their own to limit physical contact.

If you are unable to attend the in-person strike due to complications caused by COVID-19, we invite you to strike with us digitally by posting a picture of yourself with your favourite climate action sign using the hashtags #fridaysforfuture #fridaysforfutureyyc #GlobalClimateAction2020.

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Support Local Bookstores

As we all continue to educate ourselves on systemic racism, and so many issues that we’ve realized that we’ve been ignorant of, you might feel like buying a book or two. Instead of purchasing from huge companies, such as Amazon or Indigo, it’s ideal to support small, local bookstores. Along with supporting small businesses during these difficult times, with used bookstores, you’re giving a book a new life, therefore saving it from the landfill. 

If you can’t find the book you’re looking for at one of these stores, consider purchasing it from the author’s website, instead of Amazon or another huge chain bookstore. This way, a larger portion of the sale goes to the authors themselves. 

Additionally, if you aren’t in the financial position to purchase books, or just don’t feel the need to own a book, The Calgary Public Library has thousands of awesome books. As of Monday, July 20th, all library branches are open, with social distancing and other health protocols in place, along with a contactless curbside pick up system for holds. There’s also seniors’ hours, for the first hour of service each day, and the book returns remain closed.


The Calgary Public Library 


Pages on Kensington

  • There’s a list of anti-racist books that they have on their website
  • Now open to public browsing and curbside pickup 
  • They also have a used and bargain section, good for the environment and your wallet!


Books Between Friends

  • Used book store 
  • Super cheap! 
  • Receives books through donations
  • They hold book sales for charities some weekends, so you’re helping support good causes. 


Shelf Life Books

  • Browsing by appointment, curbside pickup, local delivery
  • Biggest selection of poetry in Western Canada
  • They also occasionally hold events
  • Dog friendly 
  • Customer Loyalty Program 
  • @shelflifebooks on Instagram

Fair’s Fair Books

  • They also have a location in Inglewood, but it’s temporarily closed due to Storm Water Damage. 
  • Used book store. 
  • You can sell your old books for store credit. 

Owl’s Nest Books 

  • In person shopping and Curbside pickup.
  • “Friend of the Nest” sponsorship perks 


The Next Page

  • Bookstore and coffee shop.
  • You can sell your books for 1$ cash or 2$ store credit. 
  • Currently offering deliveries.
  • They also hold events (readings, launches, workshops). 
  • @thenextpageyyc on Instagram 


Bently’s Books

  • New and old books. 

Bragg Creek

Best Little Wordhouse in the West

  • Used and new books.
  •  Also sells other gift-like items (scarves, etc.)

Decolonize Your Education

With the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s become apparent that we as a society have long avoided the views and feelings of those who do not fit the ideals of our country’s colonial mindset. 

This needs to change. So, we’ve compiled this list of a few of our favorite books, podcasts and films made by BIPOC for you to read, watch, listen, and learn from!


Books  (Nonfiction): 

  • So You Want to Talk About Race By Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Skin We’re In By Desmond Cole
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race By Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Indigenous Relations By Bob Joseph and Cynthia F. Joseph
  • Broken Circle By Theodore Fontaine
  • From Where I Stand By Judy Wilson-Raybould
  • My Conversations with Canadians By Lee Maracle
  • Life Stages and Native Women By Kim Anderson
  • Halfbreed By Maria Cambell
  • A Mind Spread out on the Ground By Alicia Elliott
  • Pourin’ Down Rain By Cheryl Foggo 
  • Resolve By Carolyn Parks Mintz and Andy and Phyllis Chelsea
  • Seven Fallen Feathers By Tanya Talaga

If you have children, you can find a list of indigenous books for young children on the Calgary Reads’ website. Here is a list of local bookstores that may have these noteworthy books available.

Movies / Documentaries / Films:

  • The Condor and The Eagle –  by Sophie & Clément Guerra
  • nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up By Tasha Hubbard
  • Ice Breakers By Sandamini Rankaduwa
  • Ninth Floor By Mina Shum
  • The Color of Beauty By Elizabeth St. Philip

The Problem with Bill 1

How this bill targets Indigenous peoples and minorities of Alberta

“Essential infrastructure”, according to Bill 1 includes pipelines, oil sites, provincial highways, railways and many more. 

Many of the “essential infrastructure” areas listed are already private property, industry or government owned facilities; meaning many of these areas are already illegal to trespass and protest on (including hydro developments, power plants, oil sands, etc.) Listing these already known areas in the bill helps to bury the new information. 

Listing railways as “essential infrastructure” is a response to the solidarity protests nationwide that involved railroad blockades in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs refusing consent to the Coastal GasLink pipeline. 

The blockades were non-violent and were only aiming to shut down Canada, in order to have their voices heard. However, these blockades across Alberta, specifically in Edmonton, were an ‘inconvenience’ to the UCP government because they couldn’t continue with the pipeline and business as usual. 

In order to ensure the pipeline can be built (without consent) on Wet’suwet’en territory with less protests, the UCP government has simply decided to claim railways as “essential infrastructure” under Bill 1 to enforce consequences like arresting without a warrant. 

Bill 1 states:

“The land on which essential infrastructure is located, and any land used in connection with the essential infrastructure, is deemed to be part of the essential infrastructure.”

Which means:

1. The government can deem what they want to be essential infrastructure 

2. The land the government wants to use for essential infrastructure for pipelines they can deem to be illegal to gather and protest on. Even if it is within indigenous territory.

Bill 1 prohibitions are:

(1) No person shall, without lawful right, justification or excuse, wilfully enter on any essential infrastructure.

(2) No person shall, without lawful right, justification or excuse, wilfully damage or destroy any essential infrastructure.

(3) No person shall, without lawful right, justification or excuse, wilfully obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the construction, maintenance, use or operation of any essential infrastructure in a manner that renders the essential infrastructure dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective.

These prohibitions basically explain that you cannot trespass onto essential infrastructure and private property and damage it- which is already illegal. So once again they are trying to hide the deeper meaning with already common knowledge. However, with the new definition of essential infrastructure it means now more places (including railways) are prohibited from being used in protests. And Indigenous land can be deemed “essential infrastructure” kicking people off their land, and making it illegal to enter their own land.

These prohibitions basically explain that you cannot trespass onto essential infrastructure and private property and damage it- which is already illegal. So once again they are trying to hide the deeper meaning with already common knowledge. With the new definition of essential infrastructure, it means now more places (including sidewalks) are prohibited from being gathered on and therefore used in protests. And Indigenous land can be deemed “essential infrastructure” kicking people off their land, and making it illegal to enter and use their own land.   

Offenses, penalties and arrests:

A first offence can result in a fine of $1000 and up to 

$10 000 or can result in an imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both. 

“A peace officer may arrest, without warrant, any person the

peace officer finds on essential infrastructure

This means:

Not only can you be fined and arrested for peacefully protesting on or near whatever the UCP determines to be essential infrastructure, but a large fine that many underprivileged people cannot afford to pay will be given. This once again demonstrates how this bill is intended to target Indigenous people.

This bill is a scare tactic meant to keep Indigenous people silent and afraid, making the government’s invasion into their land easier. 

Bill 1 infringes on the rights and freedoms of Canadians and is unconstitutional. The government wants to silence Indigenous peoples making it harder for them to defend their land and practice their rights to peacefully protest and voice their concerns. 

The UCP government is concerned with building this pipeline to fuel a dying oil & gas run economy through exploiting Indigenous people and their land and instilling fear. Does this sound like a government for the people?