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Walk With….Michelle MacPherson of TEDxYYC

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An outdoor enthusiast, supporter of the Arts, and adventure seeker, Michelle keeps on the pulse of our city and as such you can definitely find her out and about along 17th Ave. Michelle prides herself on living local – a huge proponent of community, she looks for opportunities to collaborate with like-minded folks and purses volunteer work and community-building over the years with marquee organizations and local events. Most recently, TEDxYYC. This month we got to know Michelle, learn about the exciting things she’s up to, and visit some of her favourite spots along 17th.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a local entrepreneur, brand storyteller and owner of Maven & Mention – a boutique marketing consulting company in Calgary. I live local. I love my #YYC community. And I thrive on collaborating with like-minded, community-focused organizations like TEDxYYC to help them share their stories and create memorable brand experiences via social media.

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What projects are you involved with right now?
I took the (entrepreneurial) leap on Leap Day earlier this year, so every day is a new adventure and a new lesson in starting up and running a small business. Currently, I’m collaborating on some exciting social media campaigns in travel & lifestyle, higher education and local small business. As well, it’s been great to give back to the community through volunteering – most recently with the Calgary Food Bank and TEDxYYC.

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Tell us about TEDxYYC and the upcoming “Expanding Horizons” event.
TEDx events are all about embracing the spirit of TED’s global goal of “ideas worth spreading”. The “x” in TEDx represents the awe-inspiring collaboration and intersection of the community to share and celebrate a TED-like experience – to inspire and spark meaningful conversation. For the past seven years, TEDxYYC has welcomed an impressive list of some of the world’s brightest minds to Calgary. In addition to TEDxYYC, Calgary is lucky enough to have a couple of other active TEDx licensees who also host independently-organized TEDx events, such as TEDxCalgary.

TEDxYYC is an independently-organized event, run entirely by volunteers. What makes TEDxYYC special is the grassroots collaboration and combination of talents amongst our team of doers, partners, presenters and performers. Each member of our team truly has a love for learning and a passion for building communities. For me personally, it’s been such a rewarding experience to be part of this journey! Our upcoming TEDxYYC on June 24 at Arts Commons is our seventh-annual event, focused on Expanding Horizons – elevating perspectives, enriching innovation, and exploring imagination.

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What services do you use on the Ave?
Chrome Hair Design – Jess has been my stylist for many years! Janice Beaton Fine Cheese – Anyone who knows me knows I love cheese… (and wine pairings!). Janice and team’s pairing advice is always on-the-nose! Also, hoping to check out Row17 for an indoor rowing class sometime soon.

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Describe your perfect day on 17th.
I’ve loved exploring 17th Ave for the past 15 years or so! I called it my neighbourhood when I was a Beltline resident a few years ago, and today I still consider it one of my go-to destinations in the city for shopping, dining and inspiration.

My perfect day on 17th Ave? Grab a cuppa joe at Analog and admire the cool interior design (love how they pay homage to the corner store that used to live at this spot by reinventing the old storefront signage). Walk the avenue and shop local at gravitypope, Steeling Home and Purr. Enjoy some sunshine and meet friends on a sunny patio for sips, eats and laughs (plenty of fantastic patios on 17th!) Pick up some delicious lemon tarts from Rustic Sourdough Bakery to devour at home.

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What is your best-kept 17th Ave secret?
So many fantastic local gems on 17th Ave… some of my favourites are the freshly-baked challah bread every Friday at Itza Bakeshop in the Devenish, the moussaka at Manie’s Pizzaria really hits the spot and the fabulous madeleines and hibiscus-lavender tea at Parc Brasserie. So lovely.

Favourite place to shop?
Gravitypope for beautiful and unique shoes. Steeling Home and West Elm for home décor.

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Best place for a night out?
Pigeonhole for craft cocktails, dinner and a delicious time… I love the old turntable spinning vintage vinyl in the corner of the room. And ricotta dumplings? Yes, please.The courtyard patio with twinkling lights and the aroma of fresh garden herbs at Cibo is also great for dining al fresco on 17th.

What would you like to see on 17th in the future?
A local farmers’ market or open-air fresh flower market in Tomkins Park on the weekend would be fantastic. I miss the Old School Emporium that used to be at Mount Royal Village.

What’s up next for you? (Rest of the day or upcoming projects)
Dreaming big and making it happen!

Stay up to date with all things TEDxYYC and Maven & Mention by following the below handles:

Facebook: facebook.com/TEDxYYC
Twitter: @TEDxYYC | @mavenandmention
Instagram: @TEDxYYC | @mavenandmention

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