Showing posts from January, 2010

'Local' Game Is Having a Massive Effect

BioWare Edmonton are behind the success of the recently-launched Mass Effect 2 video game


TALK about good timing! Right in the dead of winter the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry has launched yet another reason to stay inside, and it goes by the name of Mass Effect 2. The role-playing action game has become one of the most critically-praised projects in gaming history, and is seeing early numbers that will see it as a commercial triumph as well.

By now you might be wondering why I Heart Edmonton is telling you about the No.1 video game in the world right now. Well, it's because Mass Effect 2 was developed right here in the southside studio of BioWare, which was founded in Edmonton 15 years ago.

BioWare, a subsidiary of video game pioneers Electric Arts, has gained a reputation for developing award-winning PC games like Neverwinter Night and Baldur's Gate, as well as state-of-the-art console ventures such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire,…

Elvis Is In the Building!

International music icon Elvis Costello is braving the cold for a benefit show at the Winspear

What:Fort Edmonton Foundation Presents 'Costello in Concert!'
When:Sunday, February 7th @ 7:30PM
Where:Francis Winspear Centre for Music (99 St. & 102 Ave.)

ONE of the world's most respected and accomplished rock musicians out there is London-born Irishman Elvis Costello, 55, who has been accredited with the ability to "reinvent the past in his own image," and who will return to Edmonton on February 7th.

The singer-songwriter, producer, actor and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, drums, mandolin, piano, harmonica, etc.) also happens to be the blushing groom of Canuck jazz phenom Diana Krall, with whom he's also professionally collaborated. In addition to his own bride, Costello has worked with the music elite, including Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Sting, Burt Bacharach, Green Day and Alison Krauss.

The Oscar-nominated Rock & Roll Hall of Fa…

'I Heart's' Events Calendar

Bored? Then check out our new sidebar 'Calendar' for something to do

IN order to shine a light on even more upcoming events happening in Edmonton, or in surrounding areas (St. Albert, Sherwood Park, etc.), I Heart Edmonton has included a new feature in our sidebar to the left.

"Events Calendar" will highlight some of the concerts, festivals, exhibits, showcases, or other events that will be hitting up the city in the coming days or weeks. They will be brief what-when-where updates that can be clicked on for more information.

And don't forget to follow I Heart Edmonton on Facebook and/or Twitter, where we let Edmontonians in on local events coming up. We'll continue finding other ways to guide all you beautiful, sexy folks through what's going on in the city of Edmonton year-round.

Cheers, from I Heart.

EDvent/ Motley Crue Concert

Have the Crue overstayed their welcome, or is that proposed new arena more essential than originally thought?


THE whole Rexall concert experience is starting to become a bit monotonous. From the obscenely overpriced everything to those tiny plastic seats that dare you to hold off from taking a leak just so you don't have to force everyone else in the aisle to stand up in order to let you by.

I've had it with the oversized line-ups to spend almost seven bucks on cheap rum. I'm tired of getting patted down by some complete stranger for weapons, but even worse, the fact that they even have to. And I'm sick of having to sneak in my beat-up point & shoot camera because ticket holders aren't allowed to capture images of the concert, even though we shell out expensive deniro for access. Man, I complain too much!

I don't know, maybe it's just me? Perhaps I've over saturated myself with these pyro-driven, louder-than-necessary arena blitz's…

Peeking Behind the Curtains of the AGA

Fellow bloggers were invited for a private tour of the Art Gallery of Alberta on the eve of its grand opening


NEW York City has the Empire State Building. Toronto's got the CN Tower. San Francisco boasts the Golden Gate Bridge. And now, Edmonton has her own signature structure that, perhaps with one look, will instinctively correlate it with our prideful city.

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I think I've got it bad for the AGA, the Art Gallery of Alberta, though it wouldn't be the first time I've fallen for an inanimate object. Let's see, there's my hard cover copy of The Catcher in the Rye, my grey Neon, and of course, my beloved cameras. But, more than ever before, the AGA feels alive!

The city's abuzz with the upcoming grand opening celebrations (January 31-February 1) of the $88 million project, and yesterday (January 25) I Heart Edmonton and some two dozen other members of the "social media community" were graciousl…

'Encountering' the Centre on 99th

Stereotypes were squashed by blaring electric guitars & Shakespearean farce during church talent show


WITH the exception of weddings and funerals I haven't sat at a pew in something like twenty years. I've never read the Bible and I don't know the Commandments by heart. Hell (I mean heck), I couldn't even tell you the difference between a Christian and a Catholic, that's how far my spiritual ignorance stretches. Religion's just never been a part of my life.

Which is why I had no idea as to what to expect when my buddy Andrew Gelasco invited me to check out "Encounter's Got Talent," a one-night-only talent show for the young adult patronage of the Church on 99 (9908-67 Ave.), unofficially known as the "Church of Rock." Unfamiliar with any sorta Christian-themed scene, I reluctantly said yes, knowing that an otherworldly faith separates me from the rest of the group.

"It's a great opportunity to meet people: buil…

The Revamped Rush Are Ready for 2010!

After a dismal season in '09 Edmonton's lacrosse team is looking to turn things around with new coach & players


LAST March myself and about 20 friends and acquaintances of mine clicked the "Yes" tab when we received our Facebook e-vites to check out the Edmonton Rush vs. the Calgary Roughnecks at Rexall Place (pictured below right). I don't think any of us knew what to expect in what was my first lacrosse game, but $25 to see an NLL battle, sip on some rum 'n' Coke, and hang out with some good friends isn't that hard to say "Yes" to.

That March night, to be frank, the Rush sucked! The Roughnecks earned five goals before our team even got on the scoreboard, and at one point were ahead by 14 points! By the end of the fourth quarter the Rush had lost 22-10 to the Roughnecks, who even managed to tie their franchise record for most points by a player in a single game (11 for Dane Dobbie).

But by that point most of my friends and…

Urban Design Team to Overhaul Downtown

From streetscapes to that proposed arena, a renowned committee will determine our vision for the future of downtown Edmonton


AS much as it pains me to say, Edmonton's downtown could undoubtedly use a jolt back to life. I could sit here and tell all you fine folks that our city's core region is booming with vibrancy and bustling with activity around the clock, but then I'd be lying to you. And that's no way to start a relationship.

The truth of the matter is this...downtown Edmonton has been struggling to maintain a level of buzz and commotion that resembles other Canadian municipalities. In Toronto, Montrèal, Vancouver, and to a lesser extent, Calgary, locals flock to their respective city centres to wine, dine and pass the time, whereas Edmontonians seem to prefer to R&R on Whyte or at West Ed.

And yes, I'm aware that these other Canuck metros also boast their own versions of our beloved strip on 82nd Ave. and our giant mall in the west end, but …

Artist Jason Carter Accepts Olympic-Sized Honour

But who is he, exactly?


"I SAT and thought about it for a couple hours, and was like, that's awesome!" That's what local sculptor Jason Carter told Citytv, after he was asked about being chosen as one of only six Aboriginal artists to represent Canada at Vancouver's 2010 Winter Olympics. "Awesome" would be an understatement!

Carter's craft, moulding soapstone and designing paintings of traditional Canadian mammals, is something this Edmonton-bred artist has been doing for about a half-dozen years. "I started carving soapstone in 2003 after I had mentioned offhandedly to my sister that I would love to try sopastone carving, and at Christmas I got a piece of soapstone, which I left in the closet for a while.

"But as I continued looking to connect with my spirituality," he told Vue Weekly, "I was looking for a flat piece of stone to smudge with and carry around with me, I ended up cutting off a piece of this soapstone,…

Baba Yaga Trail Adventure 2010

Creepy Russian tale is brought to life by Winter Light thespians

What:Baba Yaga Trail Adventure (storytelling/guided walk)
Friday, January 22-Saturday, January 23 (2-9PM)
Whitemud Park and Snow Valley

EDMONTON'S season-long Winter Light Festival is weeks in and its latest project, the Baba Yaga Trail Adventure, is just around the corner. The two-day event "integrates art, recreation, theatre and light installations to create an intriguing weekend of original festival programming at Whitemud Park," and it's free!

Based on a rather terrifying Slavic folklore, Edmonton's take will clean it up for the kiddies, telling the story of a young woman named Vasilissa and her journey into the forest to fetch her wicked stepsisters fire from a witch named Baba Yaga, who lives in a hut that stands on chicken legs. You gotta check out the show for yourself to see if Vasilissa gets her fire, and what adventures arise in the process.

Directed by Rebecca Starr, the show is &q…

EDvent/ Ice on Whyte Festival 2010

The 11-day ice carving event is nice for kids, but not exactly my cup of tea


EDMONTON'S premier winter festival is in full swing, even though the weather hasn't been fully co-operating with organizers of the 11-day (Jan. 14-24) Ice on Whyte Festival. You see, this is an ice carving gathering, which means the whole shebang is vulnerable to the temperature. So far though, there hasn't been any sculpture casualties (*knock on wood*--had any been around!).

It would be a shame if there was though, because these frozen pieces of "hand"-carved art, illustriously shaped by chainsaw-wielding craftmen/women from around the world, are stunning to see in person, to say the least.

It was hoodie weather when I headed down to the Old Strathcona area to check out the 7th annual Ice on Whyte, situated on a fenced-in block at 85th Avenue & 104th Street. It set me back just a toonie to get through the entrance and into the arena, of sorts.

The lane of ice sculpture…

Exploring Edmonton's EXPO Bid

We're the lone Canadians vying for the 2017 'World's Fair,' which will put our city on the global stage


I'VE heard a lot of people chit-chatting about a global event that may or may not come to our blushing city, and if it may, it wouldn't even be for another seven & a half years! But that certainly hasn't stopped folks from putting in their two cents about the proposed "Edmonton EXPO 2017." So, I Heart decided to take a peek behind the curtains for ourselves, and determine the good, the bad and the ugly of hosting the "World's Fair."

First things first, though. Do you even know what the EXPO is exactly? Me neither, so let's find out together, shall we?!

The History:
I've always known the EXPO as its other moniker, the "World's Fair," a public exhibition of the globe's latest developments in manufactured products, international relations, tourism, and arts & culture, and has been for mor…