Showing posts from June, 2010

Edmonton's Hall of Fame Induction, 2010

Eight exemplary Edmontonians enter our city's Hall of Fame, representing sports, community service, and the arts


"THEY come from real life. They come from the fives of people I know. They come from newspaper articles. They're all pretty real," remarked Greg Hollingshead, when asked about where his stories' characters are derived from. He continues: "I'm not very good at imagining, at least mine, quite unsatisfactory. Not nearly as interesting as what actually happens."

Hollingshead, 63, is the Toronto-born author behind the applauded Bedlam novel (2004) and the 1995 Governor General's Award for Fiction, The Roaring Girl (pictured right), and one of the recent inductees into the City of Edmonton Hall of Fame's Art & Culture branch.

The induction ceremony was part of the 59th annual Salute to Excellence ceremony, which honours Edmontonians who, according to Mayor Stephen Mandel, "bring layers of richness to our city thro…

D.B. Buxton, For One Night Only

He may reside in Vancouver, but D.B. Buxton's heart belongs to Edmonton, and he'll return for a performance at The Hydeaway next weekend


What:D.B. Buxton homecoming concert
When:Saturday, July 3, 2010 (9PM)
The Hydeaway Pub (10209-100 Ave.)

SURE, he's got a peculiar haircut and a rectangular guitar, but judging books by their covers is a foolish game, as I've come to learn.

D.B. (Daniel Benjamin) Buxton has transferred 15 years of busking on Edmonton's streets into a more refined, yet soulful sound, dented with funky beats and insightful lyrics.

If you don't believe me, listen to "Discokings" (featuring Corvid Lorax), "Fame and Money," or the 7 and a half-minute "rough mix" of "The End of the Party," all available at the click of your mouse at Buxton's MySpace page.

The genre-bending musician and songwriter was only 15 when he left home to sing for passersby in the Old Strathcona region. His back-up ba…

A Few Minutes With...Ryan Parker

Whether he's tipping his beret & strumming his ukulele to Beyoncè & Beirut, or reciting Shakespearean excerpts in Hawrelak Park, Ryan Parker proves Edmonton's 'Got Talent,' too!


WHY is it that everyone in showbiz is under the impression that they can do it all? Actors try singing, singers try acting, and then there's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course! It's a vicious circle that inevitably leads to disaster...most of the time. Remember Crossroads?

But then there's folks such as Edmonton's own Ryan Parker, 28, a virtual Renaissance man who pursues nearly all aspects of his industry...and doesn't suck!

Parker first came to my attention when I caught one of his skits on the locally-produced sketch comedy TV series Caution: May Contain Nuts. Soon after I learned that he was one-third of The Be Arthurs (alongside Sheldon Elter and Bob Rasko), Edmonton's premiere ukulele cover band that in no way pays homage to the late Be…

E-Spot #15/ Rick Bronson's The Comic Strip

A seemingly endless trail of local stand-ups braved the stage at the world-class Comic Strip for 'amateur' night


(WARNING: This post contains language and subject matter that some of you may find offensive, or just plain nasty, so please proceed with caution!)

INTIMATE lighting allowed a feeble sense of security when my friend Karen and I were seated at one of the benched tables of Rick Bronson's The Comic Strip, a "high-end" comedy club in the "Bourbon Street" region of West Edmonton Mall. Afterall, who wants to be picked on or solicited by some crude comics out to highlight your flaws for the sake of a laugh?

Not me, which is why I also appreciated the safeguards of our back row seating arrangement. Now all I needed was some liquid courage, just in case I had to chit-chat with intrusive comedians about my "date" or what I do for a living, as they burrow through my stats until they found just the right joke at my expense. I orde…

Can't Stop the Serenity

Sci-fi devotees are being summoned to take in an afternoon of movies & raise funds at the same time


What:Charitable movie screening
When:Sunday, June 27 (12:00-7:30PM)
Where:Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre (Churchill Square)

THE Alberta Browncoats Society, a non-profit group based out of Edmonton, is inviting everyone and anyone with $15 to spare to come check out their double-bill movie night the Sunday after next (June 27).

The Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre--yes, they have a theatre, too!--will screen Serenity (2005) and Browncoats: Redemption (2010), the former of which stars Edmonton-born actor Nathan Fillion. The latter is a Firefly/Serenity fan film that'll see all profits earmarked for charity.

The afternoon, christened 'Can't Stop the Serenity,' will also include a silent auction, costume contest, and door prizes. Proceeds will go to benefit charities Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, and the Edmonton Women's Emergency Accommodation Shel…

Edmonton International Jazz Festival 2010

Jazz enthusiasts are patiently waiting to kick off a strong tradition of festivities to promote and celebrate a shamefully low-key format


What:10-day jazz music festival
When:Friday, June 25-Sunday, July 4, 2010
Where:Yardbird Suite (11 Tommy Banks Way/ 102 St. & 86 Ave.)

WHEN you think Edmonton, you don't think jazz. In fact, even when you think music in Edmonton, jazz doesn't exactly come to mind. No, instead most locals would probably envision electric guitars, or cowboy boots, or maybe even mullets in plaid shirts when asked to spare us some images of the general local musical preference.

But the Edmonton Jazz Festival Society (EJFS)--not to be confused, though likely will, with the Edmonton Jazz Society (EJS)--has made it their mission to change those instinctive images, setting out to alter the local music scene as we know it today.

It's been a long road, too.

The Edmonton Jazz Society was founded way back in 1973, and sponsored individual jazz concerts…

EDvent/ The Pride Parade 2010

Thousands revel in the scorching sun as downtown parade kicks off Edmonton's thriving Pride Week celebrations


TO kickoff Edmonton's steadily growing Pride Week (June 11-20), the City shut down several downtown streets yesterday (June 12) to allow for the coinciding Pride Parade. The weather was prime as locals filled a stretch of Jasper Avenue for about an hour to take in the drag queen floats, queers in sequined tighty whities, and leather-bound bears (back off PETA, not that kind of bear!).

This was my inauguration to the (30th) annual Pride Week festivities in Edmonton, so I was at least surprised at how many gay or gay-encouraging locals we have, according to the queen-sized (pun fully intended!) crowd yesterday afternoon. My good friend Amanda suggested I tag along with her to the parade in between errands, and how can you turn down someone so damn pretty?!

The colourful and (mostly) sparkling floats--as well as the cast of Rent--began treading down the aven…


Some of the latest happenings in Edmonton...


Festival season has officially arrived, as events are on the verge or are in full swing as we speak. In just its third year, the unique Creative Age Festival has already begun, starting on June 8 and running until next Wednesday (June 16). The 9-day event showcases our talented senior citizens who are somehow involved in film, theatre, music, visual arts, literary arts, and dance. "It encourages seniors to become more involved in arts programs and celebrates the contributions that senior artists have made in the arts fields," reads the CAF's official website. "A festival centered on these themes promotes healthy aging and attracts more seniors into creative fields." For a full program of the third annual Creative Age Festival click here.

Speaking of festivals, Edmonton will celebrate Irish culture with the 6-day Serca Festival of Irish Theatre, which will feature four mainstage plays, music, poetry rea…

EDvent/ The F**k You Comedy Show

Not for the weak or squeamish, local comics took turns offending everyone in their paths... wouldn't expect anything less!


BEFORE you read on I must WARN you that I'm about to get all crude up in here! That's right, foul and lewd language will run amuck, so if you're the sensitive type you might want to skip this entry and come back tomorrow.

Seriously, I'm gonna go George Carlin on your ass!

But to be fair, it's only because I have to. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to properly tell you about last week's 'Fuck You Comedy Show' (Tuesday, June 1) at The Hydeaway (10209-100 Ave.).

See, it's already begun!

Like last Thursday's 'Pecha Kucha' event, this very different night out was a last minute decision. My good friend Karen and I made plans just hours prior to head downtown to the Hydeaway, the upper room of the Jekyll & Hyde Pub, to see our mutual friend Kelly Soloduka (pictured bottom left) headline the 'Fuck Y…