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Kirsten Alana

Bio Pro Photographer usually found in Europe, or home in NYC w/ @dante.vincent.‬ ‪📷 Sony a7RII & iPhoneX‬ ‪Now: Alberta‬ ‪Next: India‬


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Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "After the hike I describe in my last post and before we checked into the @fairmontcll - our #attaELEVATE #ExploreAlberta" at BLAKE Canmore - 1736600707044653997
BLAKE Canmore Report Share Download 13 1.65K

After the hike I describe in my last post and before we checked into the @fairmontcll - our group stopped in the town of Canmore for lunch at @blakecanmore. If you’ve followed me for a long time you know food isn’t necessarily MY THING but at the same time when I have a meal that I love soooo much that I’d feel bad unless you get to experience it too, well, then I talk about food. And this is just such an occasion. BLAKE has varying menus depending on what time of day you arrive but one thing that will be consistent is the homemade spices, sauces and the singular twist that goes into every dish. There’s an Aussie flair to the menu but I wouldn’t call it Australian food. Certainly it’s Canadian but then again what is Canadian food?! What BLAKE is is vegetable-forward dishes with a spicy kick and a depth of flavor that will stick with you long after you’ve left. We approached it family style, ordering quite a few dishes from both the lunch and brunch menus and there was hardly a crumb left by the time we were done. From the chili-spiced broccoli to the charcoal breakfast sandwich to the yam salad and the eggs-over-breakfast-fries, our afternoon at BLAKE was a culinary tour de force. Don’t pass through Canmore without stopping and to fuel you up for later, pop in to @ravecoffeecan before you keep going to Lake Louise or elsewhere. This moment is just another reason why MAN I LOVE CANADA [and in particular Alberta]!!!! 🇨🇦 🍴


Canmore, Alberta Report Share Download 48 2.25K

After a few days in and around Calgary to before , we finally began to make our way up into the Canadian Rockies. I took these photos as part of an ice walk with Jordan Ede of Mahikan Trails. They offer walking and snowshoe tours from the perspective of their Indigenous Culture. From bushcraft to plant medicine, tanning hides and making moccasins, they provide the opportunity for visitors to learn time honoured skills which are part of their Indigenous traditions. Jordan taught us all about the plants that we passed as we walked to the canyon and once we were in the canyon, he pointed out pictographs that are 4,000 years old. It was awe inspiring to see and learn about evidence of people living here that long ago. Now the walk itself might not be for the faint of heart in winter because as you’ll see when you swipe left, in winter it requires crampons. And you’re walking ON what is a deep, raging river at other times of the year!! Right now it’s an uneven yet stunning expanse of solid ice, the color of which changes with the light. All that being said, Jordan provided the equipment we needed and he made sure we were safe. I never felt uneasy and it was so much fun!! The first photo shows the wide entrance to the Canyon, guarded by soaring peaks. The last two show where the tour ends with a few frozen waterfalls in a sort of glen. The spot seemed so unspoiled and wild in a way and yet the pictographs Jordan showed us prove that Indigenous people have been coming here for at least 4,000 years. Mahikan Trails is not on IG either but you can learn more on their website at


Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Report Share Download 78 2.96K

Do you love wolfdogs? 🐺 Then you have to visit @yamnuskawdsanct when you’re in @travelalberta like I did this week during my trip through the province!! 🐺 With the popularity of shows like Game of Thrones, it’s become trendy to own Huskies, Malamutes, Shepherd mixes and almost any breed that’s mixed with a wolf. AKA a wolfdog. Disreputable breeders have sprung up around the world and the ultimate reality is that most people who dream of having one of these beautiful dogs either, A) don’t appreciate what it really takes to own one or B) don’t understand what these dogs are like behaviorally. Such people often then become disillusioned and often dispose of the dogs. It’s so heartbreaking to me because @dante.vincent and I both have dreamed of having our own wolfdog since before it was trendy and yet we know we don’t have a situation that would make a good home for one so we aren’t getting one! Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary is a rescue organization for the rehabilitation and rehoming of displaced wolfdogs. One of their primary goals is to educate the world on what wolfdogs are and what it takes to properly care for them; they’re also all about rescuing the ones in need and when you visit you will find more than 20 permanent wolfdogs, 10 that are ambassadors and any number of wolfdogs that you can adopt! You’d obviously need to prove you have a good home for one because founder Georgina is passionate about making sure they will be well cared for and properly understood!! • If you want to take good photos, make sure you bring a long lens such as the 70-200mm I was able to borrow from @photojbartlett. The most common misconception about these dogs is that they will all come right up to you. However, the higher the content of wolf in a dog, the more shy it will be around humans. Georgina ensures they have large spaces to roam and that’s what you will often find them doing when you visit! If you can’t visit but you still want to help out - check out @yamnuskawdsanct for a link to donate.

Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "On this #hosted trip to @travelalberta, we had the most phenomenal day with Tracey, Tim and Morgan of Painted Warriors o" at Sundre, Alberta - 1734276814166361216
Sundre, Alberta Report Share Download 44 2.63K

On this trip to @travelalberta, we had the most phenomenal day with Tracey, Tim and Morgan of Painted Warriors outside Calgary in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. They are an Indigenous business just starting out in tourism with so much to offer and so many incredible ideas for how to share their Cree heritage. We learned archery, talked about the importance of survival skills and discussed some of the very basic things you need to know when outdoors. We learned about animals that are native to Alberta and we made a Vegan lunch together. Their hope for the future is to include foraging, glamping in the clearing you see in this photo and many more experiences that reinforce being close to the land, respectful of the animals we share the planet with and ultimately help all those who visit with them, to thrive not just survive. Before opening their business for tourism, they consulted for the television and film industries to help train people in survival skills as well to enable people to be historically accurate in portraying the past. I believe they will still do that in addition to now working with visitors to Canada — and I wish them the best. I really loved this day and am so excited for the future of their business!!! While they only have a Facebook account right now, you can easily look up more information at • And special shout out to @photojbartlett for allowing me to borrow his Sony 16-35mm lens for this shot taken with my If you don’t already follow Jeff, his feed is an extraordinary look at outdoor locations all around the world and I’m so happy to find out that he is as kind a person as he is talented.

Eau Claire Distillery Report Share Download 23 2.3K

I had to laugh when my hosted group found ourselves at the coolest distillery I’ve ever been to in Canada, relatively on its own in a lovely small town in the Turner Valley and it turned out to be the same one @chellelabub had told me about several weeks ago when I hosted the Scotland contest. She does their marketing and boy would I ever want her job if I wanted to do marketing full time. Because I have a feeling @eauclairecraft.isn’t going to need THAT much of a boost before it explodes into being one of the most sought after distilleries in North America if not the world. It’s that incredible. Owner David and his team — in a former theater turned movie theater where David once saw his first movie — make a vodka so phenomenal you can sip it, ala a fine Scotch, not just put it in a cocktail. Their gin continues that tradition, able to be enjoyed straight or in a cocktail. And their Scotch is in every way competitive with my favorites from Scotland. I was truly blown away. In addition they also make a bottled version of a Moscow Mule which has recently launched, as well as flavored gins and other liquors. Their tasting room experience also, as if the pot even needed sweetening, comes with a charcuterie & cheese board, local bites and a spicy blue cheese dip that is to die for!! We were fighting over it like we hadn’t eaten in days. I didn’t want to leave and it didn’t seem like any of my colleagues wanted to as well. Should you be like me, always interested in trying local spirits/beer/wine - you should @travelalberta as soon as possible so you can visit @eauclairecraft. There aren’t many people making spirits with this level of excellence.

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Report Share Download 50 2.23K

Yesterday while I was standing in this spot in @TravelAlberta after a few hours learning from Quinton Crow Shoe of the Northern Piikani, I thought about an article I read several days ago. It was about a female Chef who practices whole animal butchering in her restaurant. Meaning she butchers the meat she cooks herself and she doesn’t waste any of the animal. It’s commendable! Yet it’s not, as the article seemed to suggest, a new or revolutionary idea. It’s what First Nation peoples were doing for thousands of years before settlers arrived to the continent of North America. They believed bison were provided to them to meet their needs and in turn they viewed the killing of bison as a sacred act to be done with proper gratefulness, respect and ceremony. There was no waste, every part of the animal was used and it happened on the land in this photo, here at @hsibj, protected by @unesco and staffed by Piikani and Blackfoot people. Quinton’s grandfather Joe Crow Shoe Sr. was instrumental in making this place possible, ensuring its history and heritage was accurate. Listening to Quinton’s stories, passed down from Joe and his other ancestors, was a surprisingly profound experience. I realized how little I know about Indigenous peoples and a bright spark of curiosity was lit within me that I’m excited to have stoked further as we travel through the province with Dené Sinclair (Ojibwe-Anishinaabe) who is with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.