CREATING CULTURE and BUILDING COMMUNITY in Red Deer
A quick look behind the scenes of Red Deer’s street music, curated lifestyle products, hand-crafted cocktails and quality food will reveal three decades of vision-driven community and business development in the city’s downtown – the foresight and mission of Paul Harris and Terry Warke, partners in life and business.
When you step inside Sunworks Living, plan to spend time exploring quality products carefully curated to bring joy and pride into
your life while sipping a latte and nibbling on any number of home-baked items from the shop’s kitchen. Whether you are searching for a cheeky gift card, fine cooking products, welcome mats or gargoyles, you’ve come to the right place. Take a moment to appreciate the hand-preserved wooden floor and sunfilled space. Every detail has been carefully considered to accentuate the historic beauty of the shop located on Red Deer’s Little Gaetz Avenue.
Down the street, step into another historic downtown space to share the humanity of great food, craft beers, delicious wines and friendly chatter. In its own “sexy sophisticated” way, Tribe brings people of all cultures, backgrounds and life philosophies together to eat a little, drink a little and flirt a little.
Want to enjoy a live performance on the Ross Street Patio? Enjoy the cultural experience permanently designed into
Red Deer’s main downtown thoroughfare, featuring local and visiting artists.
How did Red Deer’s downtown cultural community and eclectic shopping destination come to be? In the early 1990s, Paul recalls a rant directed to his partner Terry: “If we’re going to stay here in Red Deer, we need to change it! I just want the opportunity to go somewhere to have a good coffee and read a book!”
That rant planted a seed for a lively downtown community, and the pair set out to create a space to fulfill their vision.
The Sunworks concept started with unique household items proudly displayed in a booth at the regular farmer’s market. Paul and Terry were committed to their mission of finding great products and making them available to central Albertans in a beautiful and artful manner – it’s about providing quality products and experiences. They soon grew to secure a downtown basement location on Ross Street, and as visibility and Red Deer’s appetite for fine goods and products grew, so did the business.
The trompe-l’oeil background installed to feature the shop’s early collection of gargoyles was replicated in a new street-level shop in 1998, along with a collection of hot sauces, books, artwork, a coffee counter and a classy back-alley wine bar that was quickly adopted by the city’s business and art communities.
A new expansion strategy emerged – buy new spaces, innovate and encourage others
to create businesses that are welcoming, unique and exciting. New developments resulted in new restaurants, new shops, affordable downtown housing, an art gallery and local policy shifts designed to support street patios, festivals and entertainment.
Red Deer’s downtown is now a place where people of all ages, interests and abilities can gather and live together in community. There are multiple coffee shops where Paul can grab a fresh brew and enjoy a book – including the LGBTQ+-friendly spaces owned and operated by the couple.
Red Deer is home to over 100,000 people and is located mid-way between Calgary and Edmonton.
is proud to feature several local LGBTQ+ safe, friendly and welcoming businesses and organizations in the community.