Showing posts from September, 2009

Something To Do: HopScotch: A Festival of Fine Whisky & Beer

e Location: Winspear Centre Lobbies Address: 9720-102 ave. NW Phone: 780-429-1992 Email: Date: Friday, October 23, 2009 Hours: 7:00PM-10:00PM Cost: $65.00 The Chris Andrew Trio will supply the live entertainment as ticketholders sample more than 45 kinds of Scotch, whisky and beer, as well as complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Catered by the Crowne Plaze , HopScotch will also include an onsite liquor store ( Bin 104 ) and a silent auction that includes a private Davis Concert Organ recital. Proceeds will go to the Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation, a non-profit organization that relies on events like this one, and government or corporate funding. No minors. e

Music Clip of the Month (09/09)

"The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" (1995) by Captain Tractor If you partied in any number of local bars during the second half of the '90s, then you may very well have drunkenly jigged to Edmonton-based Captain Tractor 's rowdy cover of The Arrogrant Worms ' "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate." The Celtic-themed ditty told of a desperate farmer who resorts to stealing shipments of grains and farm equipment in order to keep himself afloat. It has since been covered by two more Canuck acts, in country singer Brad Johner and a cappella group De La Hoja . The video for Captain Tractor's popular rendition, which appears on their East of Edson (1995) album, was partially filmed at the famous Santa Maria ship in West Edmonton Mall .

Localities (09/28/09)

Edmonton "welcomes" Bush, Federal Building gets its anticipated facelift, Rexall Place is Top 10 in the world BY EMIL TIEDEMANN -If you're at least as curious as I am to see one of the world's most notorious leaders since Hitler come to Edmonton to speak of his eight years as chief commander of the globe's most powerful country, then you just may be willing to put down the $175+ for a ticket to "A Conversation with George W. Bush ." The 2-hour speaking engagement will hit the Shaw Conference Centre on Tuesday, October 20 (5-7PM), and I'm sure is expecting to evoke protestors to congregate outside the doors of the downtown venue. Seven months earlier, on March 17, four people were arrested during the former U.S. president's visit to Calgary, which also happened to be Bush's first official speech since leaving office. You may still be able to get tickets via Ticketmaster . -Finally, after 20 years of sitting vacant on the grounds of the Alber

Homegrown Talent/ Nathaniel Arcand

He's a rare breed, coming from the lows of adolescence to the highs of national stardom BY EMIL TIEDEMANN Y OU might think I'm somewhat bias, doing an article on someone I'm actually related to, but the reality is that he's my cousin twice removed, and I've never even met the guy before. But, at the same time, I know of Nathaniel Arcand , 37, and I know he's one of this country's most talented and prolific Aboriginal actors, honing his craft on both television and film since the mid-'90s. In fact, I didn't even know that Arcand, the oldest of six children, was part of my extended family (our mothers are first cousins) until I read an article (partially) about him in a December 2002 issue of the Edmonton Journal . The headline for the piece read "Former gang members tell their stories to forum to help native youth" (by Ed Kaiser ). "We saw a lot of drinking around us and fighting," a 31-year-old Arcand told Kaiser. "We saw re

Photo Op: The Cup

e Let's face it, before Wayne Gretzky and the rest of the Oilers ' dynasty era players, not a lot of outsiders even heard of Edmonton. These Oilers put our humble town on the map since joining the National Hockey League back in 1979, after eight years playing as a WHA team. They went on to win five Stanley Cup championships (1984-85, 1987-88, 1990) within a span of less than a decade, making household names out of Gretzky, Mark Messier , Jari Kurri , Kevin Lowe , Glenn Anderson , Paul Coffey , Andy Moog , and Grant Fuhr . This photo is of the giant 850lbs. Stanley Cup replica that stands 12.5 feet on the corner of one of the United Cycle buildings in Old Strathcona (10323-78 ave.). Christened "The Spirit of Stanley," the area landmark was erected--after about 650 hours of labour--as a gift to the citizens of the "City of Champions" from United Cycle, IMARK Fabricators, the Oilers and the city itself. The cup was completed near the end of 2007, to coincide

Local Art Showcase #1 (Poetry)

e Edmonton-born Douglas D. Elves ' poem 'Taut-line and Tow Rope' tells of a 16-year-old William Gladstone (1832-1912), who in 1848, paddled from his hometown Montreal to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, as part of the Hudson's Bay Company brigade. Gladstone also made a stop off in Fort Edmonton before his final destination, and ended up settling in Western Canada for good, where he constructed fort buildings and flat-bottomed York boats until the early 1860s. Gladstone ended up marrying an Edmonton girl and later worked as a carpenter, before he passed away in Mountain Mill, Alberta, in 1912. If you're interested in checking out any of Elves' other poems you can visit his website . 'Taut-line and Tow Rope' I could drag these matters far upstream, the tow rope slung with rain and slurping wave. I could pull them up by shouldering the line against the steady torrent of remorse, the york boats chucking at the rocks when drawn to shore by cu

Architect Reveals Art Galley Secrets

California-based architect Randall Stout hits up the Winspear to let Edmontonians in on his bold design for the Art Gallery of Alberta BY EMIL TIEDEMANN " K NOWN for its evocative design aesthetic, Randall Stout Architects consistantly challenges architectural conventions, while transforming light, shadow, form and material into dynamic architecture," reads the headline for the official website of Stout (pictured bottom right) and his work. I tell you this because Mr. Stout himself recently spoke to a full crowd of Edmontonians at the Winspear Centre 's ENMAX Hall (pictured right), about his design for the new Art Gallery of Alberta (pictured below left). Stout's 90-minute lecture was set for 2:00PM last Saturday (September 19), but was about 10 minutes late in order to afford a seemingly sold-out auditorium take to their seats. A buddy and I arrived early, neglecting to spend $45 on the hardcover book of Stout's past resumè, which they sold at the same ta

EDvent: Edmonton International Film Festival '09, Pt. II

Anne Wheeler's Bye Bye Blues kicked off the 2009 EIFF with a free screening on Churchill Square BY EMIL TIEDEMANN O NE week before Edmonton kicks off its 23rd annual International Film Festival on September 25th, it hosted a free double feature screening at Churchill Square last Friday (September 18). Initially intended to be a 2-day series that offered up one picture per evening, organizers were forced to cancel Thursday's outting due to weather, squeezing both films ( Man on Wire and Bye Bye Blues ) into Friday evening instead. Drive-in movie theatres are a thing of the past, or at least they are here in Edmonton, so I was excited to take in Anne Wheeler 's Bye Bye Blues (1989) on the giant inflatable screen (supplied by Fresh Air Cinema ) in the heart of downtown. I had never even heard of this 20-year-old feature film by Edmonton-born director/ writer/ producer Wheeler, but it was more about sitting in a lawn chair in the Square on a Friday evening, sipping on hot

EDvent: Big Valley Jamboree Makeup Concert

Tim McGraw, Gord Bamford et al helped raise $20,000 for the Donna Moore Memorial Trust Fund during 'makeup' party BY EMIL TIEDEMANN A few months back a friend of mine asked if I had ever journeyed the 56 miles to Camrose to take in the 4-day festivities of the Big Valley Jamboree *. I told her I never had, intimidated by the ticket prices and the long drive. But, last Thursday night (September 17) I didn't have to flip the bill or hit the road, because the Jamboree came to me! More appropriately, it came to Edmonton and the Rexall Place , as a "makeup" concert to not only finish what they started, but also to pay tribute to the late Donna Moore . During the third day (August 1) of Camrose's summer staple, an abrupt storm struck the grounds of the BVJ, sending thousands of unadvised country music fans ducking for cover, and with good reason. The storm seemed to have come out of nowhere, according to testimonials, paralyzing the 18th annual event as it crumble

Localities (09/16/09)

Comrie's return proves a smart decision, CISN & Lund walk away winners @ CCMAs, architect Stout talks about the Gallery BY EMIL TIEDEMANN -Last Tuesday (Sept. 15) night homegrown talent Mike Comrie , 29, rallied up a pair of assists during the Edmonton Oilers ' first pre-season game, giving way to a 4-1 victory against home team Calgary Flames. "It's a long pre-season, and the guys are just trying to feel each other out," said linemate Comrie, who recently surprised his hometown when he resigned with the Oilers on September 10, six years after leaving the team on a sour note. The exhibition game was the first for the Oilers guided by new head coach Pat Quinn , who replaced Craig MacTavish after seven years with the Toronto Maple Leafs. -At the recent Canadian Country Music Awards (Sept. 13), Edmonton's CISN Country 103.9 was named Major Market Country Radio Station of the Year, christening the local staple the top country music station nationwide. CISN

EDvent: Edmonton International Film Festival '09, Pt. I

With Capital Ex, the Fringe and Folk Fest all behind us, Edmonton settles in for its 23rd annual International Film Festival BY EMIL TIEDEMANN Needless to say--but let's say it anyways--the Edmonton International Film Festival is just an infant dipping its toes in the big boys' pool when it comes to global film fests, but that doesn't mean that our humble event can't offer up some intriguing, inspiring and popcorn-worthy movies that may easily be just as good as anything screening at Cannes or Sundance. "We strive to uncover cinematic gems and celebrate unique voices in movie-making such as directors, writers and producers," claims the EIFF on their official website as part of their "Mission & Objective" statement. "[We're] about films and the people who make them." Well said. The commended fest, which runs this year from September 25th (Friday) to October 3rd (Saturday), inaugurated in 1986 as the 3-day "Local Heroes" a

Something To Do: Valley Zoo's 'Free Admission Day'

e Location: Edmonton Valley Zoo Address: 13315 Buena Vista Road (87 ave.) Phone: 780-442-5311 Email: Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009 Hours: 10AM-6PM Cost: Free There will be various things to keep the kids busy once you walk through the gates of the Edmonton Valley Zoo during the last Sunday in September, free of cost! In addition to more than 350 animals (including the world-famous Asian elephant Lucy ), the zoo's " free admission day " includes the Open Meadow Carnival (live music and a petting zoo), the launch of three "massive animal enrichments," a demonstration from the Edmonton Yo-Yo Club, a flea circus, arts & crafts, science experiments, face painting, and much more. e

Ed Spot #6: The Atlantic Trap & Gill

Because we all can't just get up and head out to the East Coast, the Trap & Gill brings it to us , kinda BY EMIL TIEDEMANN I've never been to the East Coast, thus I've never experienced first-hand that authentic Maritimes lifestyle that has set the region apart from the rest of Canada, kinda like how Stephen is amongst the Baldwin brothers (just kidding, calm down). But there's an underlining charm buried within those Newfie accents, and a carefree, pull-no-punches agenda that leaves me envious to no end. So, for now, the closest I can get to St. John's infamous George Street are via grub 'n' pints joints like The Atlantic Trap & Gill . Dreary Sunday late afternoons usually aren't set aside for high balls at Whyte Ave. for myself these days, but Monday was a holiday, poker was around the corner, and my sister Carrie and I were in the mood for a brisk pick-me-up. In fact, it was Carrie who suggested one of her former drinking holes, the Trap

Homegrown Talent: Jeff Stuart & the Hearts

Stuart and his outfit of individually-accomplished musicians won't likely hit the big time, but have the potential to make big things happen BY EMIL TIEDEMANN A S reported in newspaper after magazine, Jeff Stuart 's music has been branded somewhere along the lines of alternative country twang blanketed within rootsy indie rock, but whatever the class it most closely resembles, critics can't seem to get enough. Stuart ignited his reputable music ventures on his own, honing his assorted lyrical skills by hitting up festivals and clubs (including Edmonton's Sidetrack Cafè and Black Dog Freehouse ) across Canada, before assembling a clique of adept instrumentalists to back him as the Hearts : Chris Quesnel , Gavin Dunn , Dwayne Martineau , Tim Resaul and Sara Hart (just a coincidence). "Full of country, sure, but with a lot of folk harmonica and tactically repressed sorrow." -Edmonton Sun (January 2004) But before the Hearts were even in the picture, Stuart set

EDvent: Bryan Adams Concert

Hit after hit, Adams gave an adoring crowd exactly what they wanted...and then some! BY EMIL TIEDEMANN "Let's make a night to remember," insisted a 49-year-old Bryan Adams , and although these words were simply lyrics to one of the Canuck rocker's seemingly countless hits, they easily could've served as the tagline preluding one of the most entertaining concert nights Edmonton has put on all year. Friday night's show had the potential of falling victim to Edmonton's unpredictable and inconsistant weather, as the hours preceding it had been wet and dreary, similar to last month's AC/DC downpour at Commonwealth . Fortunately, not a drop of rain spoiled Adams' outdoors bash at the city-owned Telus Field , where 7,500 fans, all with at least one thing in common, merged to forfeit their inhibitions to the pop-rock chords of one of Canada's most fortunate musical talents. The night started off on a slightly soured note, as tedious traffic and proble

Photo Op: CityScape

e "It leads to a vibrant downtown, a place that is the heart and soul and the centre of what I like to think is the greatest northern city," Edmonton Oilers president Patrick LaForge told the Edmonton Journal in a recent interview, referring to the exciting news that our city will be home to a brand new twin-arena entertainment complex in the downtown. As the photo below shows, Edmonton has never had an internationally-recognizable skyline, but with the new arena proposal--in the Baccarat Casino area--the "City of Champions" will hopefully have the downtown its always wanted...a vibrant and bustling zone that sets is aside from the other major metros in Canada. The facility is expected to be finished by the time the Oilers' lease with Rexall Place is up in 2014, at an estimated cost of $450 million. PHOTO BY EMIL TIEDEMANN E