SO WHERE IS CALGARY?
Calgary, Alberta is about 150 miles (230 km) north of the Canada/U.S. border, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We are directly north of Glacier National Park in western Montana. Calgary is about 80 miles east of Banff, and about the same distance west of Drumheller, in Alberta's badlands. Our location gives us an advantage in the form of chinooks (warm winds), quick access to the TransCanada Highway and the mountains, and an international airport.
TOURING DOWNTOWN CALGARY
One of our major considerations in choosing the Westin Hotel for Costume-Con was its location to several major tourist attractions in the downtown core. Just a short hop on the westbound C-Train, one can find the Calgary Science Centre just a block from the 10th St stop. This Science/ Technology family attraction features a multi-media domed theatre and interactive exhibits.
A few stops east of downtown will find you at the Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park, which has been awarded Best Outdoor Attraction in Canada. The Zoo, a world-renowned zoological institution, has more than 1,200 animals from all parts of the globe, many of them endangered species. North American animals are showcased in The Canadian Wilds Aspen Woodlands and Rocky Mountains habitats, where visitors can get close to grizzlies, bighorn sheep and cougars in natural settings. The Botanical Garden features Tropical, Arid and Butterfly Gardens. Sandstone hoodoos surround life-size dinosaur models in the Prehistoric Park.
For more information, you can visit the Calgary Science Centre website at www.calgaryscience.ca, or link from our website to the Calgary Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitor.calgary.ab.ca The CCVB website is a wonderful source for all types of information on Calgary. They have listings or links to attractions in and around the city, flight times, detailed maps and much, much more.
The hotel is also adjacent to the scenic Bow River, Prince's Island Park, and an extensive pathway system that follows the river on both banks. Eau Claire Market, a short walk away, is a unique shopping, dining, fresh food and entertainment destination; home to the IMAX Theatre and Cinescape Multi-Media Family Entertainment Centre.
Also within walking distance is the beautiful Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre. It is modeled after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China, which took over 100,000 man-hours to build. The highlight of the building is the awe-inspiring Dr. Henry Fok Cultural Hall with its hundreds of dragons and gold leaf motifs. There is also a Cultural Museum, which houses priceless artifacts and ceramics, including a model of the world's first earthquake detector.
If you stretch your legs a little farther, you can find yourself at the Glenbow Museum. We will be organizing an excursion to the
Museum, which will be discussed in more detail in a future progress report. The Glenbow has an incredible collection of First Nations and Western Canadian Heritage artifacts and costumes, Medieval arms and armour and other period costumes.
A unique feature of Calgary's downtown core is that most of its major building are connected by "Plus Fifteens" (+15s).
These are enclosed walkways that connect the buildings together on the second and sometimes the third floors (+30's). Thus you can stroll from almost one end of downtown to the other and never have to go outside if the weather is inclement (although some office buildings are closed off on the weekends). Also worth mentioning is the fact that Calgary's Light Rail Transit (LRT) is free within the downtown core.
In the near future, you'll be able to find more information on these and other attractions at our website.