Showing posts from February, 2010

Kevin Martin Wins Gold for Edmonton

Local curling superstar and co. sweep the Norwegians to take the gold at the Vancouver Olympics


PRIOR to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Canada had never won a gold medal on home turf. Last night (Feb. 27) Edmonton curler Kevin Martin led his team to our nation's 13th gold medal of these Games! This was also Martin's first trip to the top of the podium, previously taking silver in 2002.

The 43-year-old Martin and his hand-picked team of Canucks' John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert beat Norway's Thomas Ulsrud et al 6-3 on Saturday to give Canada its 25th medal for 2010.

"We put this team together with the idea to get to Vancouver and we did it," Martin said. "It was a lot of hard work to try and get back in the Olympic Games and with all the hard work, we made it to the finish line."

Ironically, it was Team Norway who kept Martin from taking gold at the '02 Games in Salt Lake City, though neither team made it to the podium at…

Edmontonian Shannon Szabados Shares Gold

Grant MacEwan goaltender shut out the U.S. to win gold in women's hockey


"SHE was like a rock," admitted defenseman Colleen Sostorics, referring to Edmonton-born goalie Shannon Szabados' shutout to win gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The team beat the U.S. 2-0 last Thursday (Feb. 25), and Szabados made an impressive 28 saves.

"I was standing there on the blue-line after and I thought to myself, 'I can't believe I got a shutout'," remembered Szabados, 23, who is of Hungarian descent. "But I would have been satisfied with a 9-8 score, as long as we won."

St. Albert's Meaghan Mikkelson, 25, is also part of the world's best female hockey team, which also won gold medals at the Winter Olympics of 2002 and 2006, in Salt Lake City and Torino, respectively. They won silver during the 1998 games in Nagano.

Szabados' goaltending career began long ago, when her father Gary brought home a set of goalie equip…

Silver Medal for Jessica Gregg of Edmonton

Local speed skater makes family of Olympians proud with a silver medal win in Vancouver


EDMONTON'S own Jessica Gregg--who happens to be my boss' niece!--shared in Team Canada's silver medal victory in women's 3,000-metre short track relay last Wednesday (Feb. 24). At her side during podium ceremonies in Vancouver were Tania Vicent, Kalyna Roberge and Marianne St-Gelais, all of Quebec.

Initially Canada had finished the race in third place, but the 2nd place South Koreans were disqualified after it was discovered that team member Min-Jung Kim bumped rival China's Linlin Sun near the end of the 27-lap run. Thus, Canada took silver, the U.S. snatched bronze, and gold went to the Chinese.

"The spirit was so good, we worked so hard for this," commented Vicent, 34, who became the first woman in Canada to win a medal in four straight Olympic Games.

Gregg, who turns 22 on March 16, comes from a family of Olympians. Her father Dr. Randy Gregg won five …

Local Art Showcase #5/ Justina Smith

Red Deer barista transcends various mediums in her spare time, and now calls Edmonton home


"AS a little kid, I loved to draw and write," said the multifaceted Justina Smith, who has called Edmonton home for about three intermittent years now (I'll explain later!). "As I got older, I began writing poetry, drawing with pastels, ink, ball-point pen...whatever was handy and good for making marks."

Today, the 29-year-old Smith is leaving a mark, transforming canvases, theater sets, and even sheets of scrap paper into works of art.

The proof's in the pudding, or in this case, in the tapestries, murals, portraits, and illustrations Smith has been honing since she was just two-years-old! That also happens to be the age Smith was uprooted from her hometown Edmonton to Red Deer, where she remained up until last spring.

In high school, Smith began to paint using watercolours, and it wasn't long before she sold her first piece, to her grade nine tea…

Some Good News For Once...

Five local stories from February 23, 2010

IHEART Edmonton is fully aware that there's A LOT of bad things going on all over the world, and right here in our own backyard, too. But your days are over-satuated with these steady updates of car accidents, homicides, natural disasters, war, etc., so let I Heart bring you some good news for once...

-CTV Edmonton
MacEwan announces new four-year music program

-Edmonton Journal
New radio station at 102.3 FM launches in Edmonton (pictured)

-SEE Magazine
Citadel's 'Sweeney Todd' is razor sharp

-Edmonton Sun
Hockey gals on big roll

-Metro Edmonton
Author delights students on Literacy Day


CEYC Presents 'Streets Speak' Exhibit

City Hall mural display lacks the glitz, but it's the thought that counts!


THERE'S no denying that Edmonton is a city that encourages and supports its local artists. We've become well-known nationwide for our warm reception towards prominent and emerging painters, writers, photographers, musicians, dancers, poets, sculptors and sketchers who spend the seasons honing their respective crafts, some through our countless arts programs and at our various venues strewn throughout town.

In fact, every weekend, year-round there's something going on in Edmonton that engages our local artists and their admirers. But that's not to say that on occasion we miss the mark, for lack of a better term.

Case in point...the "Streets Speak" mural series that is currently taking up space at City Hall until the end of the month.

But before I go any further let me assure you that this exhibit, organized by the City of Edmonton Youth Council (CEYC), is a welcoming ef…

'Catalyst Cafe' Makes Its Debut

The People's Church will host this music & food affair that will go to support earthquake victims

What:Catalyst Cafe
When:Thursday, February 25, 2010 (8PM)
People's Church (15641-96 Ave.)

THE first-ever "Catalyst Cafe" invites anyone and everyone to come check out some free live entertainment and enjoy appetizers and fresh signature plates from chef Phil Borer at the West end's People's Church. All proceeds from the dinner & drinks will go to benefit the Kingdom Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Organizers have booked the 43-year-old church's foyer and cafeteria to host performances by local rock musician J.D.M.L. and the premiere of newcomer Charity Hunstad. In addition to the music, the evening will also include a poetry reading and a makeshift art gallery of the work of local artist Courtney Larson.

"Catalyst Cafe" is sponsored by Transcend Coffee, which will also be serving up their popular specialty gourmet coffee brews for the sho…

A-U-R-I-C-U-L-A-R, Auricular

Edmonton teen spells his way to nationals at today's regional spelling bee


He's only 13-years-old, but Jared Barron of Edmonton's Ottewell Junior High School could easily kick my ass! At spelling, that is. You see, the 8th grader won today's (February 20) 2010 Canwest Canspell Northern Alberta Spelling Bee, presented by the Edmonton Journal.

His winning word was auricular, which--according to Wiktionary--means "of or pertaining to the ear." Don't ask me to use it in a sentence though.

"I was mostly thinking just that I want somebody to get a word right so that we could get on with it," Barron said after he beat out runner-up Allison Probst, an 11-year-old who attends Grade 6 at Calmar Elementary School.

Barron won himself a trophy, $5,000, and a trip to Ottawa to compete in the National Spelling Bee from March 24th to the 29th. And we can't forget about bragging rights!

There was a total of 68 students (Grades 4-8) from across no…

Some Good News For Once...

Five local stories from February 18, 2010

I HEART Edmonton is fully aware that there's A LOT of bad things going on all over the globe, and in our own backyard, too. But our days are over-saturated with these steady updates of car accidents, homicides, natural disasters, war, etc., so let I Heart bring you some good news for once...

Edmonton Journal
-United Way raised $20.6M in Edmonton area

Edmonton Sun
-Edmonton prima ballerina in 'Moulin Rouge' (pictured)

Global Edmonton
-Olympic men's curling: Canada defeats Sweden 7-3

Edmonton Examiner
-Edmontonians put their hearts into Mazankowski fundraiser

Metro Edmonton
-Edmonton doctor to lend helping hand in Haiti

Edmonton-Born Snowboarder Wins Silver

Mike Robertson of Canmore became the fourth Canadian to reach the podium in Vancouver


"It was kind of bittersweet," said Mike Robertson of his second place finish in men's snowboard cross on Monday (Feb. 15). "Obviously I wanted to win for sure, but I'm so happy to be second. It's amazing."

Robertson, who turns 25 next week (Feb. 26), barely lost to American boarder Seth Wescott, 33, who took gold on Cypress Mountain at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. France's Tony Ramoin, 21, finished with a bronze medal, ahead of American Nate Holland.

"I definitely made a mistake at the bottom, and [Wescott] capitalized and he's the winner now, and I'm second," continued Robertson. "But I can't complain. Second's amazing."

Although Robertson--who happens to be the youngest member on Canada's snowboarding team--was born in Edmonton, he moved to Canmore, Alberta when he was just six.

Although he'd been sno…

Family Day Photo Album

It couldn't have been a more beautiful winter day to celebrate family life, but I took a photogenic detour of local events...


YESTERDAY marked the 20th anniversary of Family Day in Alberta...either a special Monday for family-oriented fun or another day off. Depends on who you ask, I guess.

For me it was a little bit of both, though I spent much of the +4 (temp.) afternoon snapping photos in the vicinity of downtown, where most of the city's Family Day events and activities were held.

Churchill Square was packed with kids and their parents, using the day off to skate at City Hall or have their faces painted nearby, while the new Art Gallery of Alberta offered free admission for the Monday. There were also things to do at the Muttart Conservatory, Winspear Centre, the Stanley A. Milner Library, and other local venues.

But instead of showing you what was going on at these various locations (with the exception of the photo above), I decided to share with you some of …

Happy Flag Day Edmonton!

That's right, move over Valentine's Day, Family Day & Chinese New Year's, it's also 'Flag Day' this long weekend!

IHEART Edmonton just wanted to take a moment to point out that today, also Alberta's 20th annual Family Day, marks the 45th anniversary of the iconic red 'n' white Canadian flag. You know the has that giant maple leaf on it!

Anyways, what has to be Canada's ultimate symbol (sorry, beavers) first waved from Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 15, 1965, replacing the Union Flag we once used. Designed by John Matheson and U of A grad George F.G. Stanley, the flag is celebrated each February 15th (since 1996), known as National Flag of Canada Day.


Spruce Grove's Jenn Heil Earns Silver

Freestyle skier was pegged as Canada's sure thing for gold, but had to settle for second place instead


SO, it wasn't Canada's first gold medal on home turf, but it was the nation's first medal of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics! I'm, of course, referring to Spruce Grove native Jennifer Heil's silver medal victory on Saturday night (Feb. 13), settling for second place in Ladies' Moguls.

American Hannah Kearney edged out Heil's 25.69 points total with her 26.63 score, while fellow U.S. team member Shannon Bahrke took the bronze with a 25.43 final.

"I definitely felt like I could have done better," said Heil, 26, who took home a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. "There's no doubt about it. I was shooting for gold tonight. But I really do feel like I won silver."

Currently studying at Montreal's McGill University, Heil was expected to capture Canada's first gold medal on home soil. No Canuck…

EDvent/ Michael Bernard Fitzgerald Concert

MBF & the Loud Love Choir reminded me of just how much I love music...and they couldn't have come at a better time!


TWO weeks ago I didn't even know who Michael Bernard Fitzgerald was. Fast forward to last Thursday night (Feb. 11) and I can tell you what kind of beer the man drinks (his concert-sponsored Big Rock, for the record), the names of at least three of his former loves (Maxine, Suzie & Caroline), and that he autographs his CDs with an accompanying heart. That's quite the transition!

Now let's just rewind back again to a time when I lived in a world without Fitzgerald, MBF for short.

All the regulars would take turns singing comparable melodies whenever I turned on the radio, so I stopped turning on the radio. And all the CDs in my car had overstayed their welcome. Then, about two weeks ago, I recieved an email about some "folksy" musician named Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, 23, and that the next stop on his 5-city tour of Western …

A Few Minutes with...Mack D. Male

Software developer and social media guru Mack D. Male takes part in our brief Q&A about our favourite city


MOST 26-year-olds I know can barely figure out the countless apps on their iPhones or can even put together a proper sentence (don't judge me!), but I have no doubt that our latest Q&A participant, Mack D. Male, could tackle both missions simultaneously with his hands tied behind his back! Ahh...actually, that probably couldn't be done. Scratch that!

Let's just say that Mack D. Male isn't like most 26-year-olds I know. "I'm a geek who lives in Edmonton," Male writes of himself. He's just being modest.

Along with a couple of friends, Male founded Paramagnus Developments, a "privately held company headquartered in Edmonton, focused on building social applications and services," and has been for the last 10 years. Currently the team is working on ShareEdmonton, a local aggregation platform for Edmontonians and their s…

Photo Op/ The Olympic Rings

OLYMPIC pride was undeniable on the snowy field in the photo below, as students of Spruce Grove's Woodhaven Middle School showed off their support for local Olympic hero Jennifer Heil yesterday (Feb. 10).

Heil, who won a gold medal in freestyle skiing at the 2006 winter games in Turin, Italy, is from Spruce Grove and, in fact, attended Woodhaven School. She is going for gold again when the 2010 Olympic Games kickoff tomorrow (Feb. 12) in Vancouver.

To capture this shot Global's news helicopter, Global 1, hovered above the junior high school, where hundreds of students formed the five celebrated rings that make up the official symbol of the Olympics, as a pair held up a sign that read "Go Jenn Go."

Some of the other locals who will be competing in the Vancouver Olympics include curlers Kevin Martin & Adam Enright (of Edmonton), speed skater Tamara Oudenaarden (of St. Albert), bobsledders Pierre Lueders & Neville Wright (of Edmonton), hockey players Jarome Iginla

The Citadel Gets a Lil' 'Courageous'

Canadian play takes a look at moral courage via comedic tones and our nation's diverse society

What:Courageous play
When:Saturday, February 20-Sunday, March 14, 2010
Where:Rice Theatre @ The Citadel (9828-101A Ave.)

"IF anyone tries to tell you that Canadians can't write plays that are witty and touching as well as thought-provoking, then lead them firmly to the [Citadel]," praised Toronto Star theatre critic Richard Ouzounian. He also declared that the Michael Healey-scripted play Courageous is a "big step forward for one of our most ambitious playwrights."

In alliance with Toronto's Tarragon Theatre--where the 2-hour play made its world premiere last month--the Citadel will allow Edmontonians to test drive the production, about "a handful of urbanites living in our rights-driven society.

"What does an openly gay, devoutly Catholic city marriage officer do when he is required to perform a civil marriage for two men--but refuses? What does a deadbea…

Northern Jubilee Is Nation's Busiest Theatre

Edmonton's Jube sold more tickets last year than any other theatre in the country, eclipsing Calgary and Toronto


IT seems that every other week Edmontonians have something else to brag about, from recently being named North America's "Most Sociable City" to being frontrunner for the EXPO 2017 bid, and from accommodating the headquarters of Canada's "#1 company to work for" (PCL) to the opening of the world-class Art Gallery of Alberta. Hell, even the Oilers have finally started to win some games!

And now, the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium has just been bestowed as Canada's busiest theatre, with 146,555 tickets sold in 2009 alone, according to concert industry publication Pollstar. Those numbers place the 2,515-seat venue ahead of Calgary's 2,515-seat Jubilee theatre (138,515 tickets) and even Toronto's 2,752-seat Massey Hall (93,742).

But those figures are only based on touring shows (such as musicals and concerts), omitt…

ED Spot #11/ Douglas Udell Gallery

Local and international artists share the spotlight within this subtle gallery that aligns 124th Street


WITH the brand new Art Gallery of Alberta now open to the enthused public, Edmonton's arts community has leaped forward in a big way.

It means that our humble city will be taken seriously when it comes to opportunities to stage global exhibits and that outsider art enthusiasts won't disregard Edmonton as a potential tourist destination.

The AGA has at least raised awareness of the arts community in Edmonton, which explains why I found myself strolling down 124th Street last week with my winter coat and my Canon. The strip is well-known among locals as a hub of galleries that showcase mostly local or provincial artists of various mediums.

Stretching from the tail end of Jasper Avenue and down to about 111th Ave. is the "Gallery Walk," a cluster of modest galleries that share 124th with seasoned eateries, upscale boutiques and the 72-year-old Roxy Theatr…

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald Is Coming to Town!

Calgary's next big thing will orchestrate a concert like no other at the Starlite Room

What:Michael Bernard Fitzgerald & The Loud Love Choir concert
When:Thursday, February 11th @ 8:00PM
Where:The Starlite Room (10030-102 St.)

AS of late I've noticed that many of the discs making the rounds of my car's CD player are already exaggerated over the radio stations I turn on as an "alternative" from time to time. Not that these acts are unworthy of my Neon's stereo, but every now and again it's good to lend an ear to something fresh, something that's not playing on The Bear or The Bounce, but should be. Something like Michael Bernard Fitzgerald!

This Calgary singer-songwriter has a "knack for writing catchy songs and his willingness to create and texture an album with the feel and sound he is looking for," according to that city's Avenue magazine, which reviewed Fitzgerald's latest album The MBF Love LP (2009). "In this case, that feel…

Music Clip of the Month (02/10)

"Edmonton" (2008) by The Rural Alberta Advantage

ALTHOUGH the Rural Alberta Advantage are based out of Toronto you wouldn't know it by skimming the back of their (so far) only CD Hometowns, which is made up of titles like "The Dethbridge in Lethbridge," "Frank, AB," and of course, "Edmonton." In fact, there's no evidence of their Eastern residence anywhere on the CD, including in their own name.

Singer-guitarist Nils Edenloff explained that "the majority of the songs tend to be based around my experiences and memories from growing up in Alberta. In a way I guess they are homesick love songs," he continued. "I moved to Toronto a couple of years ago, as did several of my close friends from high school, and it was funny how being from Alberta was something we really took pride in. It took being away from it to remember all the things that we loved about growing up there."

Edenloff founded this grassroots trio of homesick Al…