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 readings, and more. Presented by Theatre Prospero, Serca will be part of the 'Caught in the Act' theatre series on 118th Avenue, and will run from Tuesday, June 22 to Sunday, June 27. Each play (The Good Thief, Maggie-Now 2, Spokesong, and This Lime Tree Bower) will be staged at the Old Cycle Building (9351-118 Ave./ 780-477-2773, ext. 107). For a full schedule of performances click here.

Got $10? If you do, save it until tonight (Saturday, June 12) and then use it to buy your ticket into The ARTery (9535-Jasper Ave.), where The Joe, Fallan Soldier, Dragon Fli Empire, Mickey Maybe, and Mitchmatic will be performing as part of the 'Move the Mountains Tour 2010.' The hip-hop concert will be presented by KERFMUSIC and Dedication Entertainment, and is sponsored by CJSR 88.5FM and Beatroute Magazine. Doors open at 8PM, show starts at 9PM. Tickets are available at the doors or in advance here.

On Thursday, (June 10) 13-year-old Edmonton student Ben Tumack (pictured right) was honoured with the Michael Louvain Award from Muscular Dystrophy Canada, for his charitable work to raise money and awareness for the disorder that he also happens to suffer from. "I want to get rid of this disorder," Tumack said. "I want to be able to go out and be active without being tired the rest of the day." In addition to volunteering as a grocery bagger and car washer, the Ottewell Junior High student raised more than $13,000 as part of Big Ben's Bandits, his 'Walk for Muscular Dystrophy' team. Tumack will also be present during this year's 'Walk,' on Saturday, September 4.

According to a news release issued Thursday (June 10), "the Edmonton Valley Zoo is breaking ground not just on a new exhibit, but on a whole new zoo." This is in reference to the zoo's announcement of a new $16.7 million Arctic habitat that will house the seals and sea lions, and will "transform" the 51-year-old attraction. Polar Extremes Phase I: Arctic Shores will open in the fall of 2011, by which time the Valley Zoo will have begun construction on Phase II. The $35 million follow-up phase will include a brand new education centre, otter habitat, entry plaza, and a central trail system called The Wander.

Edmonton loves its football...even if there's a chance our own team won't be on the field! Our city was selected as host for the 98th annual Grey Cup, which will take place on Sunday, November 28, and proved to be the right choice when all 62,000 tickets were officially sold-out as of Monday (June 7). That's just one week after they went on sale, topping last year's championship game in Calgary as the fastest sell-out in Grey Cup history. "The response by Edmonton Eskimo season ticket holders and CFL fans across Canada and the United States has been fantastic," said Rick LeLacheur, co-chair of the team's organizing committee. This will be only the fourth time Commonwealth Stadium will host the Grey Cup, after 1984, 1997, and 2002.

"I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it'll take a whole lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it." That was the 127-character tweet that was named "the most beautiful Twitter message ever composed," according to a contest spearheaded by actor and broadcast journalist Stephen Fry (Bones). The message was authored by Edmonton's own Marc MacKenzie, a 41-year-old medical physicist at the Cross Cancer Institute who has seen a swelling in the number of followers he now has on Twitter. MacKenzie submitted more than 30 entries between May 24 and June 4, before finding out he won the worldwide contest last Sunday (June 6). he's now got more than 2,500 followers, but that's chump change compared to Fry's 1.5 million!

June's 'Global Edmonton Woman of Vision' is Iris Evans, a Sherwood Park mother, grandmother, and the current Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations. Evans, 68, has spent 31 years in politics, the last 13 as an Alberta MLA. Bur before her career in office, Evans taught piano in Calgary and trained as a registered nurse. See the 'Woman of Vision' video clip here.

I can't say that I'm a fan, but for those who are, Tim Allen will be making his way out to the Edmonton region on Saturday, June 18. The popular TV (Home Improvement) and movie (The Santa Clause) star will be performing his stand-up routine at the River Cree Resort & Casino (8PM). If you'd like tickets to Tim Allen, or other upcoming River Cree appearances by Frankie Valli (June 26), Nazareth & The Headpins (June 30), Kim Mitchell & Sass Jordan (July 2), Peter Frampton (July 17), LeAnn Rimes (July 30), Vicki Lawrence (August 13), or Blondie (August 14), you can purchase them at Ticketmaster.

The 10th annual 'Improvaganza: Edmonton's Comedy Festival' is just days away from taking over the Varscona Theatre (10329-83 Ave.) and the TransAlta Arts Barns (10330-84 Ave.), as Canada's largest improv festival. Presented by Rapid Fire Theatre, 'Improvaganza' runs from Wednesday, June 16 to Saturday, June 26, showcasing more than two dozen improvisors, stand-ups, sketch comics, and musicians from throughout North America, and beyond. Tickets are available at the door or at TIX on the Square. For a full schedule click here.

And don't forget that it's officially 'Pride Week' right here in Edmonton (Friday, June 11-Sunday, June 20). For events and information click here.



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