Tackling the Big Spring Clean

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Kijiji. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

Spring has finally arrived – and along with green grass sprouting and leaves budding on the trees, the urge to do some heavy-duty spring cleaning has also arrived. I’m not sure who invented spring cleaning but the feeling of being indoors with your belongings for an extended period of time just inspires some sort of purging mode when the warmer weather rolls around. And what better way to get rid of unwanted items than to trade them for cash?

kijiji_1

My parents are in the midst of reconfiguring their home to make it more functional for their lifestyle – downsizing without moving, if you will. In order to do this they’ve been working on getting rid of excess furniture and belongings that they just don’t use anymore. Making each room in their house work for them, they’ve been able to maximize the space they have as well as create rooms and workspaces for everything they love to do – like entertain, listen to music, sew and create artwork. As they started clearing out their basement and garage, I offered to help them list items on Kijiji as I had so much success with the platform in the past. Beyond being able to clear out these rooms and live more minimally, they are also earning some extra cash through selling off the items – two motivations behind why people use the second-hand economy in the first place – which is always welcome for feeding all of those great hobbies and side projects that they enjoy so much.

kijiji_2

One of the hardest ways to get through a spur of spring cleaning is actually identifying what you want to keep and what you want to sell, trade or giveaway for free. In my parents’ case, they love beautiful design, antiques and objects – so while they may want to get rid of things, they still see the value and beauty in them which often makes them hard to give up. Something I identify with 100% as someone who also loves seeking out gorgeous vintage pieces, artwork and designer furniture. That being said, people like us are on Kijiji looking for these items too! Furniture was one of the top five categories for most exchanged goods last year, according to Kijiji’s 2018 Second-Hand Economy Index Report, and sellers like my parents can make an average earning of $1,436 from selling their old and unused furniture pieces. Who wouldn’t want to have an extra $1400 rather than unused furniture sitting around in your basement or storage space?! As we prep to list a big batch of their items in the coming weeks, they’ve already got a bit of a head start clearing out some unwanted items from their garage like old tools and accessories for cars they no longer have. The grand total in earnings so far is $185 – and we are just getting started!

kijiji_3

Spring is an especially great time of year to start listing your unwanted goods on Kijiji as people are in the mood to spruce things up.  According to Kijiji Site Data, spring is a great time to sell on Kijiji as it tends to provide more interested buyers who are looking at some of the top searched items on Kijiji in the spring, like patio furniture, sectionals, tables and dressers. People love digging into a great DIY project in the spring before enjoying the lazy days of summer. Even smaller entertainment items like CDs and DVDs are a top-selling category with the average annual earnings coming in around $1,185, according to the 2018 Report. Once you start looking around at your unused or unwanted items, you may realize you are basically sitting on cold hard cash.

kijiji_5

kijiji_4

As you tackle your own spring cleaning, I want to offer my tips for crafting the perfect Kijiji listing:

  • Photos: I recommend taking your photos in natural light and taking about 3-5 photos that show all angles of your object.
  • Descriptions: I’ve noticed that a lot of listings on Kijiji are pretty bare bones in terms of descriptions but I prefer to put as much information as possible. If you are selling something like a treadmill or bike, make sure to list the year, make, model and what condition it is in. For furniture, I always make sure to note any imperfections, damages or even minor wear and tears.
  • Pricing: If there is an item that I am particularly motivated to get rid of quickly, I often include “Price is negotiable. Please message with best offer.” in the listing. Chances are you’ll get a few people completely lowballing you or even asking for the item for free but if you are trying to get rid of it quick (i.e. an old sofa that you need moved out before your new one arrives) you can use your own discretion to decide how low of an offer you will accept.
  • Promoting: And lastly, I definitely recommend including in the listing that you have other items for sale as potential buyers can click through to all of your listings and potentially buy multiple items from you. Kijiji also offers a variety of ad features that can help with increasing the visibility of your ads to make them sell quicker!    

kijiji_6

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetAs I continue to help out with my parents’ spring cleaning tasks, I’ve also been working on a bit of spring cleaning at my own house too. My parents are passing along some beautiful antique furniture pieces (these ones are staying in the family – not going up for sale) my way in the midst of their purging. So, now to make room for them I’m also making sure I’m not hanging onto any items that no longer serve a purpose for me. It is amazing how much easier and more fun it is to tackle all of these projects when the sun is shining, birds are chirping and you can let all that gorgeous fresh spring air in. Happy spring cleaning!

EQ3 Spring/Summer 2018 collection

All of this warm weather is inspiring me to dream up fantasy vacation homes near beautiful lakes and deserts. Lucky for me EQ3‘s new collection did all of dreaming for me so now I’m just sitting here drooling over these images. The EQ3 Spring/Summer 2018 collection presents an assortment of pieces inspired by mid-century female designers consisting of a palette contrasted by bold monochromatic textiles, diverse materials and simple shapes.  At the core of the collection is the newly envisioned Replay Sofa (love how comfy and cozy it looks), the Cape Outdoor Collection and the Place Collection –  all designed by British Columbia based designer Shawn Place. I’m also swooning over all of the stunning accessories – mostly the stunning all glass coffee pour-over. It is perfection! 

Enjoy the inspiration! xx

ss_2018_replay_sofa_ls_01ss_2018_sage_end_table_lsss_2018_sage_rectangular_coffee_table_lsss_2018_skye_sofa_ls_01ss_2018_suite_chair_lsss_2018_place_dining_lyla_ash_lsss_2018_eve_daybed_lsss_2018_monarch_bedroom_lsss_2018_linen_throw_lsss_2018_block_rug_lsss_2018_grove_flatware_lsss_2018_garrido_tableware_lsss_2018_posey_vase_lsss_2018_cone_pendant_lsss_2018_austin_mirror_lsss_2018_pour_over_lsss_2018_metro_floor_lamp_lsss_2018_cape_lounger_ls_01 ss_2018_cape_lounger_ls_02 ss_2018_cape_outdoor_ls_01 ss_2018_cape_outdoor_ls_02

BECAUSE KINDNESS STICKS

Let’s end bullying in schools – once and for all. It sounds like a daunting yet inspiring task, doesn’t it? The idea of quashing the kind of negativity that SO many of us were faced with (if not all of us) during our formative school years is downright thrilling. My son won’t be in school full-time for a couple more years, but I’m already wondering what things will be like then. Hopefully our schools will be more than equipped with bullying prevention programs and it won’t be an issue anymore but we still have a long way to go to get to that point.

ShawKindnessSticks_2

That’s why I’m partnering with Shaw to bring attention to their Kindness Sticks Grant Program, which rewards youth who want to make a difference in their school. From now until April 30th, students across Canada can apply to earn 1 of 10 grants of up to $5,000 to bring a positive initiative to life. Working together to apply for the grant is a great way to get your kids involved in making their school a better place and encourage them to spread positivity in their community.

There are endless possibilities for your kids to dream up – all it takes is some creative brainstorming! I’ve been dreaming up a few ideas myself that I would have loved to see at my school when I was a kid:

  • How inspiring would it be to bring in some live music for a concert centered around positivity and kindness? Getting the school band involved would be a great way to get everyone participating in the event.
  • Another fun idea would be to have a ‘free lunch’ day and organize a school-wide picnic, encouraging students to bring a picnic blanket, make new friends over delicious snacks and enjoy some sunshine during the day.
  • Why not start a kindness club whose members perform random acts of kindness throughout the year? Those acts of kindness could be anything from providing students with some great snacks to get them through busy exam time, or small thoughtful gifts like flowers in the cafeteria – there are so many ways to make someone’s day!

ShawKindnessSticks_1

If you are looking for a way to help inspire positivity and bullying prevention at home, it can be as simple as creating daily initiatives that bring happiness to your child’s life or even for your own well-being and self-care. You can then take those ideas out into the world and implement them at work, school or anywhere you go. My idea is to leave little notes with daily affirmations and positive thoughts around to brighten the day of anyone who might see them.

ShawKindnessSticks_3 ShawKindnessSticks_4   ShawKindnessSticks_7 ShawKindnessSticks_8 ShawKindnessSticks_9 ShawKindnessSticks_10

There is a lot of opportunity to spread good will just through words or actions. I looked on Pinterest and started collecting inspiring quotes and affirmations that I knew would help me start the day with a positive outlook and inspire others to pass on the good vibes. I used the sticky notes Shaw sent me for Pink Shirt Day in February (another great bullying prevention initiative!), but any sticky note will do. If your kids can’t read/write yet, you can help them practice writing words like LOVE, KINDNESS, GENTLE, NICE, or simply draw symbols like hearts, happy faces and rainbows. It is a super fun way to get them involved and spreading positivity in their own way.

ShawKindnessSticks_5

ShawKindnessSticks_6

If you’re interested in learning more about the program and entering your child’s great idea for creating inclusive, supportive environments at their school, be sure to read more about the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant Program here! Don’t forget that the deadline for entries is April 30th so be sure to enter soon to be considered.

ARTIST TEE +COLLAB SERIES AT DRAKE GENERAL STORE

There was a long period of time when I decided to eschew the beloved graphic tee. I think it was post-high school when I perhaps overdid it on the cute and witty t-shirts that were so popular in the early 2000s – picture a Threadless addiction x 1000.

Now fifteen years later (*cries*) I think I’m finally coming back round to the idea of a bold yet simple design to add an otherwise boring outfit.  I instantly fell in love with The Drake General Store’s +collaboration series, where they partnered with Toronto-based creators to design an exclusive, limited edition capsule collection. The tees are all made using ethically sourced, fine twisted combed cotton that is knit, cut and sewn in Toronto – which makes this crush even harder.

talulah_fontaine_tee

This sweet and springy design is by artist and illustrator Tallulah Fontaine and features her beautiful, minimal style on the Shared Women’s Relaxed Tee ($55.00). I can’t say no to anything blush and floral so this is an instant winner in my book.

josh_pong_tee

This beautiful piece is by graphic designer Joshua Pong, echoes the bold pop images and logos that inspire his work. The design is embroidered on a Shared Men’s Relaxed Tee ($55.00).

guyx3_tee

And lastly this tee ($55.00) by designer GuyGuyGuy is inspired by a spread found in a vintage spelling book – tho I think optometrist and glasses-loving folks would also be appreciative of this tee.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Drake General Store, Shared returns with a capsule collection that celebrates authenticity, quality craftsmanship, art and design. Originally established in 2004 with a line of ethically sourced, Canadian-made modern classics and extraordinary essentials that are fit for everyone. All of the tees are proudly made in Toronto.

CATCHING UP WITH SHAW BLUESKY TV

Sponsored post by Shaw BlueSky TV.

There is nothing quite like getting lost in a piece of fiction, whether it is a short story, novel, Netflix original or a feature length film – there is just something so awe-inspiring to be engulfed inside a story that some great creative mind dreamt up one day. I’ve been getting lost in lush and complex fictional worlds thanks to the plethora of quality TV series and movies available lately. And due to the sub-zero temperatures we’ve been experiencing here in Calgary, I don’t feel one ounce of guilt about it.

I’ve always loved the art of storytelling, which is probably why and how I wound up being a writer for a living. Although I tend to stick to non-fiction editorial work on the regular, my mind is constantly buzzing with ideas for fictional stories that I feel would translate perfectly to the screen. Time to get on those New Year’s writing resolutions, I suppose!

Back to the shows and movies I’ve been swept away by lately, I’ve been continuing my trial of Shaw BlueSky TV with Netflix. I have been enjoying so many aspects of it, especially the freedom of FreeRange TV, which is Shaw’s awesome mobile and desktop app where you can watch all of your favourite On Demand shows like Will & Grace, Schitt’s Creek and This Is Us.

I absolutely love FreeRange TV for the ability to watch my favourite shows pretty much – anywhere I want to. Catching up on the best guilty pleasure shows in bed, tuning into a new show while I work, awesome kids shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood on the iPad for Jack or watching classic movies while having a break in the tub – I can do it all with FreeRange TV.

Also, did you know that you can watch LIVE TV as well on your FreeRange TV app? Yup, I’ve been tuning into all of the Pyeongchang Olympics coverage and it has been fantastic. To be completely honest, I can barely turn away from the screen as I watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir make magic across the ice.

The only thing I miss while watching FreeRange TV is the voice-controlled remote and all of the great content not available on FreeRange – but I mean, that simply means walking over to my television instead and hitting play on my favourite show. Now, I must get back to binging my latest obsession – Netflix’ Queer Eye.

 

This post is sponsored by Shaw. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going with fresh content.

 

MIELE EXPERIENCE CENTRE NOW OPEN IN CALGARY’S BELTLINE

Miele_2 copy

There is nothing quite like walking into your dream kitchen; a space where you know you’d be just as inspired as Jamie Oliver or Martha Stewart to create amazing, flavour-rich dishes, capturing the hearts of your dinner guests immediately. I felt like that recently when I had the opportunity to check out the grand opening of the new Miele Experience Centre right in my neighbourhood, the Beltline of Calgary. The new centre is absolutely beautiful with stunning kitchen set-ups, the latest innovations in Miele technology and the ability to actually test-drive every single product in the store.

Miele_3 copy Miele_4 copy

As part of my visit to the Centre I also had the opportunity to interview the special guests of honour for the grand opening event – Dr. Markus Miele (Executive Director and fourth generation owner), Dr. Axel Kniehl (Executive Director of Sales & Marketing) and Dr. Reinhard Zinkmann (Co-Proprietor and Managing Director). It was fantastic to sit down with them over coffee and hear their passion for not only Miele itself, but for the innovations and design they are spearheading through their new projects and products.

Miele_1 copy

The stories that Dr. Markus Miele shared with me about his family history were really fascinating and shows how far Miele has come since the company was founded in 1899. For example, the company started with a butter churn and then quickly moved on to the first Miele washing machine. With this kind of innovative history behind the brand it is no surprise that the company quickly evolved to debuting the first electric dishwasher in Europe in 1929 – which was a big undertaking and expensive for consumers but did end up finding success in the 1950s. Since then they’ve become a household name across the world and are known for the exquisite design and quality that they ensure in every level of their products.

Miele_5 copy Miele_6 copy Miele_7 copy

Walking through the Miele Experience Centre I was blown away by the attention-to detail of all of the beautiful products and innovations. The space is exquisite with every square inch thought out and their helpful staff is just the cherry on top – offering up demos and so much knowledge on every piece of equipment.
Miele_8 copy
Miele_9 copy

Dr Axel Kniehl shared with me how the new Miele Blizzard CX1 Vacuum (which debuted late last year) is a truly revolutionary product that is quickly changing the way we will clean our houses – and actually create healthier spaces with the reduction of fine dust that normal vacuums can’t suck up.

“These vacuums are incredibly strong, durable and long-lasting. You can literally stand on top of them – that’s just how durable they are,” shared Dr. Kniehl. “Of course, that’s not the only key point of this product – the really innovative part is the filtration system. There are basically three levels of filtration happening simultaneously. They vary from very rough dust to very extreme micro-particles that you can’t even see. The canister is very easy to use – easy to open and quickly empty the canister eliminating the very rough dust. Our system makes the air that is coming out of the exhaust pipe of the vacuum cleaner significantly cleaner than the air that you will be breathing right now. The second level of filtration doesn’t involve anything besides simply running the filter under water to clean it periodically. The third level of filtration is a lifetime HEPA filter which you never have to change.”

For anyone out there who loathes vacuuming (my three-year-old included!) will be pleased to know that this vacuum is incredibly quiet and is more *soothing* and subtle than disrupting. A welcome change for anyone in charge of cleaning the floors in their house.


Miele_10 copy

One of the newest innovations in cooking was announced by Miele last September that is truly going to change the way people cook. Called the Dialog Oven, this new product is revolutionary in the way that it uses electromagnetic waves to communicate in a *smart* way with the texture of the food. The Dialog Oven’s waves cook the food without browning – which is incredibly awe-inspiring when you think about how you currently cook your food.

“It’s an entirely new way of cooking,” says Dr. Kniehl. “If you think about our entire history of mankind and the way we cook, we take heat and basically cook it from the outside to the inside. For example, when you want a medium-rare steak it’s typically medium-rare in the core, but there the further you go out the less medium-rare it is. Basically the new system is something entirely different – it cooks in the inside at the same time and same speed as the inside. One of our finest examples is putting an uncooked cod filet inside a block of ice in the Dialog oven and cook it for eight minutes. We remove it from the oven and the cod filet is cooked yet the block of ice is still there. We call it the Dialog because the oven and the food are communicating.”

The Dialog Oven is set to debut in Europe later this year and the timeline for North America is currently unknown but this new technology is going to change so much about how we approach cooking.

Miele_11 copy Miele_12 copy Miele_13 copy Miele_14 copy Miele_15 copy Miele_16 copy

While I did know that Miele has legendary coffee and espresso machines, one thing I learned on this tour was that they actually have their own brand of coffee beans. By roasting their own beans they leave very few variables for the consumer’s final product (aka the cup of coffee) to have something go wrong.

“People often buy an expensive espresso machine or coffee system only to throw in cheap coffee beans and then wonder why the coffee doesn’t taste right,” shares Dr Kniehl. “It is a combination of the perfect grinding system, the pressure system in the coffee machine, the water you are using, the filtration system and the beans. We can control pretty much everything except the water you are using. So, we decided to start with these new beans about a year ago and the feedback has been absolutely fantastic. You can use these beans for just about any coffee drink – from lattes to espresso to a cappuccino. It was really important for us to use fair trade beans, focused on using a small private roastery.”

I was lucky enough to stick around for a delicious latte and can happily report back that the coffee was delicious. Miele invites anyone to drop by and check out their coffee bar, check out a cooking class or simply browse their incredible range of appliances and products. It is an opening welcome space and is simply inspiring to anyone dreaming up their ideal kitchen space.


Miele_17 copy
Miele_18 copy Miele_19 copy

This post is in partnership with Miele Canada however all words and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting such an amazing brand like Miele here on The Archives of Cool.

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL FASHION FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS FOR 3RD YEAR

28783520_2030770123871056_8919391575903949984_n

Canadian International Fashion Film Festival 2017 from CANIFFF on Vimeo.

Fabulous news for enthusiasts of the fashion and film varietal here in Calgary: the third annual Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF) takes place Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 10 a.m. at The Glenbow Museum ( 130, 9 Ave SE). The festival presents a series of short fashion films directed and produced by filmmakers around the world to inspire, engage and inform fashion film enthusiasts. This is a huge

The carefully curated jury panel includes; Adrian Lazarus, founder of the Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival; Sara Maino, deputy editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and head of Vogue Talents; Cherie Federico, editor of Aesthetica Magazine and director of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF); and Raquel Couceiro, head of Fashion Film at SHOWstudio and more.

In addition to CANIFFF’s 2018 Official Selection of Films, attendees can also purchase tickets to two Masterclasses. The first, The Aesthetics of Fashion Film, will be presented by Josh Brandao and Nicolai Kornum at 11 a.m. The second Masterclass, Creating Content That Matters in Fashion Film, will be showcased at 1 p.m by Luca Finotti. If you are passionate about fashion and film, you’ll want to grab tickets to these quickly.

“We are excited to showcase the official selection, official nominations and 2018 winning films at the festival in May. The festival will also include talks with incredibly influential individuals within the fashion and film world. Luca, Joshua and Nicolai have extensive portfolios and will offer attendees engaging conversations and insights into the creation of fashion film,” says CANIFFF director and co-founder, Katrina Olson-Mottahed (my amazing pal – check out her blog here).

The Official CANIFFF awards and afterparty will include a special performance by Perla Coddington (@perlacoddington) – another one of my AMAZING friends. All tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased at www.canifff.com . All screenings and masterclasses are priced at $20 each. The CANIFFF Awards and After Party tickets can be purchased for $100.

28471656_2031168273831241_5609934131043187361_n

THE THRILL OF THE HUNT

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been someone who enjoyed a good treasure hunt. Raised by two antique-loving parents, many of my childhood Saturdays were spent perusing antique shops and flea markets. Over time, I too, grew to love it as my own hobby – even sourcing out a beautiful mint-condition mid-century sofa for my *future home* while I was still a teenager. During high school and university, I loved hitting up second-hand vintage and thrift shops to find the best vintage clothing. I found some truly incredible pieces over those years, including some highly sought after 1950s Hawaiian dresses that I was able to sell for quite a bit more than I paid for – helping me pay down my student line of credit at the time. I even sold the vintage sofa later on – after realizing that while I loved the aesthetics of it, it wasn’t truly comfortable for my style of lounging.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

Over the years, I’ve been able to supplement my income by not only saving on some beautiful pieces, but also later down the line when I resell those items myself. I certainly have found some success over the years – and I don’t even do it as a business.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Nowadays, I’m usually out hunting for home decor and furniture pieces for my heritage apartment. While I still love haunting thrift stores and antique shops, I really love setting keywords and notifications on Kijiji for specific items I am looking for – meaning I can scope out those awesome finds pretty much 24/7 if I want to. I’ve been using it for years now for both buying and selling and because of this,I am thrilled to be partnering with Kijiji over the next year to share my experiences with the second-hand economy.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Kijiji just released their 4th annual Kijiji Second Hand Economy Index 2018 Report in which they study and detail how Canadians are using the second-hand economy, why they are using it and other super interesting facts on how people buy, sell, donate, lend and swap second-hand items across the country. It is so fascinating to me how the second-hand economy generates so much income for people all over Canada while at the same time promoting sustainable methods of reusing and recycling. It is super thorough including everything from the top categories of items sold to how it is impacting the Canadian economy.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

For example, in 2017 85% of Canadians participated in the second-hand economy and $28.5 billion was spent on second-hand items. That number alone is so impressive and makes me happy to know that so much waste is being averted by people selling and buying second-hand items. For my fellow Calgarians, average earnings are estimated to be around $659.19 per year in Alberta. Between all of the different outlets I use to participate in the second-hand economy I probably made around $750.00 selling off my second-hand items in the last year.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

For the year ahead I have some big plans in the works for using the second-hand economy to both buy and sell. I’m planning to sell off some things that I no longer need – it is always great to do a big spring clean and I’ve already identified all of the things that are just taking up space and not serving a purpose. As I’m always keeping my eyes open for new and unique finds I’m also looking forward to buying some new pieces for my home – including prepping my balcony for the summer. It is currently set up just for my son Jack and I to relax and hang out but I would love to make it a bit more functional to have company over to enjoy the summer days and nights. Kijiji is fantastic for finding furniture so it is no surprise that it is one of the top five categories in the second-hand economy, so I’m confident I’ll find the perfect pieces to make our balcony summer ready.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

There are so many ways to participate in the second-hand economy and I’m only really just scratching the surface of what Kijiji can do for you in terms of generating cash flow, protecting the environment, finding amazing treasures and giving new life to old items. I am looking forward to sharing more ways to utilize the second-hand economy and join 85% of Canadians who are already doing it.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This post is in partnership with Kijiji Canada however all words and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting such an amazing brand like Kijiji here on The Archives of Cool.

SHOPPING WEEKENDERS

duty-free-canada-cross-border-shopping-coeur-dalene-the-roosvelt-inn-bed-and-breakfast-exterior

The thrill of the hunt is what cross-border shopping is all about. There’s nothing better than coming home duty-free with some serious goods that you either can’t track down in Canada or are available at a better price in the U.S. I love crossing the Canadian border to hit the shops for both well-known American brands as well as those hidden gems that you can only find in small towns. I remember the first time I drove down to Kalispell, Montana to check out what they have to offer and was blown away by the experience.

I’m sharing lots of great spots to stay and shop in Seattle/Bellingham, Kalispell/Whitefish and Coeur d’Alene over on Trivago. You can read more about my cross-border shopping tips over here. With spring right around the corner it is the perfect time to book your first road trip of the year.

REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES IN THE SKY

STARS_KaitKucy_1 copy  

Life can change in an instant and services like STARS Air Ambulance are the ones who can truly STARS provides critical care in life and death situations.

In the early 1980s, studies showed about half the deaths due to trauma could have been prevented if patients had received critical care sooner. When Dr. Greg Powell lost a young mother, who was being transported from a rural area to Calgary by ground ambulance, he decided something had to change.

That’s when he founded STARS. STARS first launched off the ground in 1985, the year I was born, so as a born-and-raised Calgarian, I know how important and essential it is to keep this life-saving service available in our province. Every time my son Jack and I see STARS in the air, we do a cheer for the real life superheroes on their way to help save someone in need. STARS air ambulance is now an integrated part of the Western Canadian emergency response system operating six bases in communities across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

STARS_KaitKucy_2 copySTARS_KaitKucy_4 copy

For family day, we received a truly special gift from STARS which included this beautiful wooden STARS helicopter that Jack absolutely treasures as well as a note from one of STARS’ patients. Read the note here – it was really heart-wrenching to read because it puts these tragedies in perspective – this is a real child who endured a traumatic, life-changing experience but was saved thanks to the medical professionals that were able to reach them in time.

STARS_KaitKucy_3 copy

Dear friend of STARS,

Being in a car crash is scary. When I was six, I was thrown through the windshield of our family car onto the highway, close to my home. I was on my way to school.

My body was very sore and I had a really bad brain injury. My family was very worried about me. Our house was far away from a big city, so the paramedics knew to call STARS so the helicopter could carry me to the hospital quickly.  I was in a coma for three weeks and more than 400 people came to visit me.

Today, I am so much better. I go to school where my favourite subject is math. My teachers and my grandmother help me do my school work. I also play lacrosse and bug my brother a lot.

Even though being in a helicopter was cool, I don’t think I want it to happen again. I know that it took a whole bunch of people to save my life and that makes me happy.

  • Casey

STARS_KaitKucy_6 copy

They are currently in the midst of their big fundraising campaign; here in Alberta, a significant amount of STARS’s operating budget comes from charitable sources, including the lottery

Fundraiser. If you feel so inclined, I’d love for you to check out their lottery tickets. This lottery fundraiser is crucial to the ongoing operation of STARS and tickets start at only $25. There are some seriously incredible prizes up for grabs including cars, vacations and more. The ticket sales deadline is March 22. Get your tickets here!

STARS_KaitKucy_5 copy

In the meantime, keep an eye out for those real life superheros up in the sky and give them a wave! If you’ve been touched by STARS in some way be sure to share your story on social media using the hashtag #ISupportSTARS.

This post is in partnership with STARS however all words and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting such an amazing cause like STARS here on The Archives of Cool.