The Living Library 2014

The Living Library is an inclusive and welcoming program at the Calgary Public Library. People can check out “books”, and the books are library volunteers, that share their diverse, compelling, and inspirational stories.

For more information on how to volunteer to be a Living Library book, email

Worst Mass Murder In Calgary’s History

The worst mass murder in Calgary’s history took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Police were called to the residential neighbourhood of Brentwood around 1:30am, where five people were found with stab wounds, three dead at the scene.

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[CBC News]

[CBC News]

 The 5 victims, all in their twenties (4 males, and one female) have not yet been identified, however they were University students, celebrating the University of Calgary’s annual end of the school year party, Bermuda Shorts Day (BSD).

The suspect has been identified as 23 year old Matthew de Grood, the son of an inspector with the Calgary Police Services, Doug de Grood. According to Calgary Chief of Police, Rick Hanson, “the suspect arrived at the party, obtained a large knife and targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them.”

 Matthew de Grood

Matthew de Grood

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de Grood is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, and is in custody.

After browsing de Grood ‘s Facebook page, it seems like this alleged killer had a bright future ahead of him. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a minor in Law and Society. de Grood was to start Law School at the University of Calgary this September.

This was the last post on de Grood’s Facebook page.

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The police have not released a motive for the stabbings.


Hate Crimes Awareness Day 2014

“Hate Imprisons Everyone”

Hate Crimes Awareness Day was hosted in collaboration with the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee on April 9, 2014 at the Calgary Public Library.

According to the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee, hate crime is defined as “any criminal offence committed against a person or property, which is motivated in whole or in part by the suspects’ hate, prejudice, or bias against an individual or identifiable group based on real or perceived race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.”

As Calgary continues to grow in diversity we need to dispel the myth, prejudice, and preconceived ideas driven by racism and discrimination about individuals and/or groups of individuals and proactively advocate for a hate free Calgary, so that all Calgarians are respected.

A wise man once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

An Afternoon of Street Photography


Wonderland – The Bow Building







I recently purchased a DSLR camera, and of course I was eager to test it out. I discovered a Meetup group that seemed perfect for practising my photography skills. On Saturday afternoon, a group of avid photographers met by the ‘big face’ in front of the Bow Building, and we embarked on a 2 hour photography walk in downtown Calgary.

I had the opportunity to take some fantastic shots of the architecture, and the lighting was perfect! I have always had a passion for human interest stories, and I love browsing photography blogs that feature street photography, particularly fashion, and candid photographs of people.

I found some diverse and wonderful subjects this afternoon. I met some people from Ethiopia, who were taking in the Spring sun, I also came across some teenagers just enjoying their Saturday afternoon at the skate park. There was a busker with his orangey red guitar strumming some tunes for passersby strolling down Stephen Avenue, and a gentleman in Devonian Gardens playing the most famous piano melody of all, Fur Elise.

I had a lovely afternoon rediscovering downtown Calgary, and I am looking forward to exploring more that this vibrant city has to offer!

Beauty awakens the soul to act. – Dante Alighieri


Macaroons, Fashion, and Rebecca Minkoff…

Holt Renfew Calgary, recently hosted a personal appearance by fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff. The event featured Minkoff’s Spring/Summer 2014 Collection. Fans were able to browse the trunk show, interact with Minkoff, and get their ‘Rebecca Minkoff’ handbag autographed. I had the opportunity to interview Rebecca about her colourful collection.