Obituary of Witold Adam Twardowski
August 11, 1951 - Calgary, Alberta
November 11, 2022 - Calgary, Alberta
Witold Twardowski passed away peacefully at home on Friday, November 11, 2022, at his beautiful sanctuary in Britannia, the original family home of his parents, Czeslaw and Astrid Twardowski and his sister, Alexandra Twardowski at the age of 71 years. Witold is survived by his long-time soul companion Tory Jackson, Alexandra and his beloved canine companions, Uma and Chai, who filled his heart with their unconditional love.
The deep family bonds between Czes, Astrid, Alexandra and Tory knew no bounds and was a source of incredible strength and love that permeated his life. Stick Theory, a family term, was used to denote the strength and support of unifying several branches together, creating a stronger unit than one alone.
Witold was born in Calgary shortly after his parents, Czes, Astrid and his sister, Alexandra, emigrated from England. Czes, born in Poland, was a geophysicist and UN Diplomat, often spotted at several of the restaurants, gardening or having a morning ‘coffee’. His mother Astrid Twardowski, born in England and, in her early career, was a Shakespearian actress, later to become a Canadian playwright. His sister Alexandra supported her brother in all ventures over many decades as an instrumental creative talent.
Witold attended high school at St Mary’s, known as Nic to his friends. As a young man, he travelled extensively through Europe and Asia, and later the American Southwest and Mexico. He translated his inspiration from the architecture, cuisine, and cultural diversity of his travels into bringing heritage spaces to life with new purpose. His unique style, an eclectic mix of the Mountain, Prairie, Mediterranean and rustic Southwest influences, was unmistakeable throughout the design of all his projects.
Witold was a visionary and inspirational force in concept and design at the forefront of the restaurant, retail and hospitality industry in Calgary and beyond over the course of five decades. During this time, he created and consulted on numerous projects including: The Barbary Shoppe, Bangles and Beads, Manna (Calgary’s first vegetarian restaurant) Ambrosia, The Soup Kitchen (first outdoor patio in Calgary), Phoenicia, Cascade Grill, Divino, Emerald Lake Lodge, Deer Lodge, Buffalo Mountain Lodge, The Lake Louise Alpine Center, Emerald Lake Trading Company, Lake Louise Trading Company, Heartland Country Store, Mescalero, La Cueva and Crazy Horse, Teatro, River Café, Mescalero in Vancouver, Sole y Luna, Turquesa, Senior Frogs Calgary, The Ranche in Fish Creek, Annie’s Bakery Café, The Latin Corner, Readers Rock Garden, Pick’s Roadhouse and Heartland in Crow’s Nest Pass, Hotel California in Todos Santos, Mexico, Palamino’s, The Lougheed House, Sociale, Cubano’s, Timberline Hotel and The Juniper in Banff, Confederation Café, Symon’s Roadhouse, UBU, Wild Orchid in Canmore, Plowshare, Black Rabbit. His last design project, SuperBlend, was located in the same space as the original Divino in the historic Grain Exchange building downtown.
The network of his business partners, co-creators, clients, the many collaborators and artists, employees, restaurant and business writers, food and restaurant suppliers, construction support and his many guests and followers is vast. The family expresses a heartfelt gratitude to all who touched his life and supported his visions, and who keep the memories.
A strong supporter of the Arts, Witold held dearly the creative work of One Yellow Rabbit Theatre Company, DJD Danceworks, and the multitude of musicians that provided entertainment at any of the spaces creating that signature vibrant energy, the opening parties, and many more memorable extravaganzas.
Witold was a beautiful man. He never wavered from his personal renaissance style: a pair of western jeans, layers of flannel shirts, scarves, at one time, suspenders, his roper work boots and John Lennon spectacles. Almost daily for 40 years, Witold went to his local gym at Lindsay Park in almost the same attire, without a care in the world. Witold loved a big adventure, viewed life through his spirit and found beauty in the people and world around him. He came to feel gratitude in the face of loss and had an innate ability to be positive and rise above adversity. Magnetic, tenacious, artistic, a storyteller, passionate and fearless in design. A rare bird.
He considered many of the people he worked with as family, and he had friends and acquaintances from all ages and walks of life. He warmed the hearts of many with love, humour, and compassion, connecting on many levels. Now his spirit soars high over the deep turquoise waters of the Canadian Rockies, the sounds of guitar playing in the background, tasty tapas enjoyed with a luscious libation. On to the next project, Heaven.
The tributes from those who have been inspired by his work, effecting their life trajectories were touched by his unique depth of spirit and vision are extremely comforting to Alexandra and Tory. They are extremely grateful for the outpouring of condolences and stories.
An intimate and informal gathering of family and friends to honour Witold’s creative spirit will take place at The DJD Dance Centre, (111 12 Ave SE, Calgary, AB) on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Space is very limited, and attendance must be reserved in advance at, RSVP link. A live link to the event on Zoom will be available on DJD’s website https://www.decidedlyjazz.com/ during the event.
Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.