I know, you’re saving up for a family vacation to see the The Great Barrier Reef down under and so all your fine dining dollars for the next while will be “order out” from KFC. The trouble with this is that good restaurants and entertainment venues are losing out on your disposable dollar and could simply shut down. We don’t care if bad ones shut down but the good establishments form part of our cultural landscape. You do want your home to be a place rich in cuisine, dance, theatre, and music. These things bond us in the place where make our lives.
It’s bad enough that we have urban planners over developing office towers and outskirts. Worse yet, the automobile – as the ultimate entertainment center in and of itself as we spend an inordinate amount of time during the commute out to the ‘burbs.
Although the City of Calgary has made some poor development decisions in the context of facilitating cultural expression, there are still great places to go. Our city has the new Studio Bell which may be under utilized as a music centre in the context of a mandate. It has tasteful aesthetics and delectable acoustics. You must find cause to go down there. There’s been the upgrade to the King Eddy as well as the Telus Science center. Renovations /expansions will be starting on the Arts Commons as further evidence of arts support from governments, donors, patrons and sponsors. Millenium Park has been great for the kids and a new place called “Cobbs Adventure Park” is fairly new.
My appeal to bars and restaurants is to find some reason for being other than the dining experience in order to keep people interested. Some empathy obviously goes out to the patron who has been hit by job loss, high taxes, government intransigence toward industry, and tight finances due to high mortgage balances. Sustainability in hospitality is going to require flexibility from governments on excise taxes and labor regulation in order to keep our communities vibrant.