Author Archive

About Lisa Murphy-Lamb

The best part about moving away from your hometown is returning with the desire to rediscover it. That is how writer and photographer Lisa Murphy-Lamb is feeling after a two year stint in Houston, Texas. Happy to be back in Calgary (yes, even with the snow) Lisa is trying to re-establish her writing routine around the distractions of Calgary's cultural scene.

With downtown just across the Bow river from her Kensington home, Lisa is found almost daily walking or running along its banks. Happy to visit the art galleries and museums by day and the dance shows and theatres by night, there is still plenty for her to experience. Luckily she has friends who are willing to share their favourite restaurants and has retained her own sense of independent traveler as her two sons are old enough now to refuse to join her on many of the more artful outings.

Lisa Murphy-Lamb's writing has been published in several west coast and American publications including the Calgary Herald and the Houston Chronicle where she had her own blog. Her Hurricane Ike photography was shown at the Houston Centre for Photography, the Galveston Arts Center in Exile 2 and is published in the book Houston Its Worth It: IKE.


The Man Who Planted Trees a hit at the Children’s Festival

May 26th, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

Today was the first day of the Calgary International Children’s Festival.  I am of course somewhat biased being a member of the board, but I have just come home from Opening Night which was a performance of The Man Who Planted Trees.  This was one of the best performances I have seen at the Festival since I started going when my son Finlay was 2 (he’s 9 now).  It was a magical story that was also hilarious!  The show is from Scotland and has sold out numerous times at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  This is great for anyone 5 and older.  There are still tickets to the Saturday performances at 11:30am and at 2:00pm.

Purchase tickets for only $12.50 each.

Guest Post Written by Carri Clarke

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Spoken Word Festival -Now in Calgary

April 23rd, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

Our family had the honour of getting to know spoken word artist Sini Anderson here in Calgary from New York City for the Spoken Word Festival.  We gave Sini a place to stay for a few nights as she prepared her material for the festival.  More than a poet, Sini is also a filmmaker about to embark on a film documentary about the musician and feminist Kathleen Hanna.  This worked to my advantage as her and I met Victoria Slam Champion Missie Peters at the Plaza to watch the final film in the Underground Film Series.  This film, Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers was a perplexing cinematic encounter and I was pleased to have Sini explain it to me after and free my night from an after-movie night of terror. (more…)

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Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. The Art Gallery of Calgary

April 21st, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

Unfortunately not all my ventures out in our fabulous downtown are great.

A short time ago I got a call for volunteers for The Art Gallery of Calgary’s annual fundraiser AGCcooks, The Art of Cuisine.  They were looking for people to tend bar, hang coats, look after the judges and generally help out as five restaurants cooked using a secret ingredient while 200 Calgarians paid $250 a plate to support the gallery and eat fine food with well-selected wine and beer pairings.  I have vowed to volunteer more and this night spoke to two of my passions: art and food.  I signed up. (more…)

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Lunch at Rush

March 9th, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

The first thing you should do immediately after making a reservation for lunch at Rush is cancel your dinner plans.  You will not need to eat again for many hours after enjoying the three course set menu offered at Rush during the ten days of Dine Out Calgary.  And if you have the time, you may find yourself still enjoying both the restaurant and the food close to the dinner hour.  It’s a place where you want to sit back and enjoy.

Photo by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

Photo by Lisa Murphy-Lamb


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Dine Out Calgary Picks: Lisa Murphy-Lamb

March 4th, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

Dine Out Calgary starts this Friday, March 5th and runs until Sunday, March 14th. There’s over 90 restaurants participating this year and that means a lot of great dining choices. To help you with your decision our blog writers have chosen their top picks for the 10 days. Next up Lisa Murphy-Lamb

Here is our problem:  My husband is away on business travel a lot.  This means most of his meals are eaten out while I am at home cooking for the family.  When we are together in the same city at the same time, he looks forward to some home cooking and I look forward to him taking me out. Unless I’m prepared with a solid suggestion for a restaurant that is enticing and easy to get to, his business-travel weariness takes over and he begs to stay in and nosh on something homemade and healthy.

Here is one solution:  Dine out Calgary which begins Friday, March 5 and runs until Sunday, March 14. During Dine out Calgary, participating restaurants offer a 3-course menu at a set price point especially for the event.  This is a great enticement to come and try out some local restaurants, but better than that for me is the website which lists the restaurants and what they are serving.  With access to menus, location and price I am well prepared for when my husband returns from Rio and Buenos Aires (I know, right?) next week.

So with a little research by way of my computer perched on top of my cookbooks, here are my top three picks for Dine out Calgary week.  Fingers crossed I talk him into at least joining me at one of them. (more…)

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Doc Soup: Last Train Home

March 1st, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

The best silent auction bid I won in 2009 was my season’s pass to the Docsoup film series.  Each one of these films has been outstanding and when I leave the theatre I am already anticipating the next film.  My wait is nearly over. This month’s film shows Wednesday, March 3rd at Eau Claire Market.

LAST TRAIN HOME explores the chaos resulting when millions of migrant factory workers return to their families and rural villages from the coastal cities where they’ve gone to work.  Focusing on one family caught up in this commute, this film explores China’s struggle with keeping to traditional ways while establishing itself as a modern  global economic power. (more…)

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EXPOSURE - The Festival of Photography

February 9th, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

One of the best things about moving back to Calgary is rediscovering how many festivals take place here.

February is EXPOSURE, the Calgary, Banff, Canmore Photography Festival. Running February 1-28, 2010, there will be a number of lectures and educational events throughout Calgary and the Bow Valley corridor with nearly 40 photography-based exhibitions by Canadian and international artists.

The Triangle Gallery offers Counter-Photography: Japan’s Artists Today.  Over 60 images by 11 leading Japanese contemporary photographers are on display.  Still images flank the wall and the floor and there is one looped video with an accompanying on the second floor. (more…)

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Intergraphia: 6th Annual Winter Art Stroll and Triangle Gallery

January 16th, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

Considering I enjoy both art and walking, I’m looking forward to the 6th Annual Winter Stroll this Saturday, January 16, 2010.  Art Stroll is a series of Satellite Art Presentations in conjunction with the Triangle Gallery’s Exhibition Beyond Printmaking: Images in Objects-Experimental Printmaking in Western Canada.  That’s where I began on Friday, to get my feet wet, so to speak.

Eight leading contemporary artists from Alberta and Western Canada are featured in this exhibition and each approaches printmaking in a wholly unique way.  After looking at the moving human forms on fields of colour by artist Ewa Tarsia, the violence and insects in the fantastic 3-D ‘wounds’ by Jill Ho-You and the cement blocks by artist Marjan Eggermont, I had to go back to the beginning and buy myself an exhibition guide ($10) so I could understand how these diverse and inriguing installations and images relate to each other as a form of printmaking.  I continued both floors of the series, enjoying the remaining five artists, with much more appreciation and understanding.  For those who prefer listening to reading, catch the curator Jacek Malec at 1:00pm Saturday, January 16 for a gallery talk and tour.

Malec’s talk is one of many events happening throughout the day at a number of galleries between 10:00am and 6:00pm (although each gallery does vary, so check before you stroll).

Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts

#104 Macleod Trail SE (adjacent to the Muncipal Building)

Admission is free.

Intergraphia: Art Stroll

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Doc Soup January Screening: Presumed Guilty

January 5th, 2010 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

I was listening to CBC’s Homestretch radio program one day last  month and host David Gray was inviting listeners to call in to share the best places in Calgary to go to for a few hours to park and let their car warm up.  One suggestion was the parkade at Eau Claire Market. If this cold wintery weather is getting to you and your car, may I suggest doing just that and take in a documentary while defrosting? (more…)

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Spur Gastropub

December 17th, 2009 by Lisa Murphy-Lamb

I am glad the temperature has risen and freed me from the bond I’ve developed with my oven over the past week. Happy to leave my filled cookie tins behind and step out into the sunshine I took a walk downtown. Admittedly though, it was just to trade one Christmas chore, baking, for another, shopping. Still, it was a glorious day to get out.

After a few hours of successfully checking off my to-do list, I was hungry. I’m not entirely sure if my hunger was owing from dodging the large numbers inside the shops or the necessary leaping over the shin-high slush puddles outdoors, but it was clear I needed to eat before my walk home. None of my trusty lunch-mates were available so I checked out Spur Gastropub on my own on the recommendation of a friend and because it was conveniently on my route.  After sliding into a secluded booth, I checked out the menu. (more…)

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