Some of the latest happenings in Edmonton (EIFF, EIA, CCMA...)

"EVERY Night Is Opening Night!" That is the slogan for the 24th annual Edmonton International Film Festival, which will take over Edmonton City Centre mall Friday, September 24 to Saturday, October 2. The 9-day fest will kick off with Opening Night Film Score: A Hockey Musical (Sept. 24) and will tread on with dozens of other features and shorts from across Canada and abroad to our very own backyard. Another returning favourite will be the 6th annual 24/One Challenge, in which filmmakers will have just one full day to put together their own movie, and the top 10 films will premiere at EIFF on Oct. 2, the final day of the festival. Tickets for EIFF 2010 are available at the Empire Theatres box office in City Centre, or at Tix On the Square. Each individual film (or Short Film Package) will cost $13.75, though there are various multi-show passes to choose from as well, including the all-access Reel Deal Festival Pass ($119.75).

"IT'S nuts, it's not fair," said Carol Reczak, owner of the north side Motoraunt, referring to the unwarranted rent hike that will ultimately lead to the closure of the 26-year-old restaurant. "If [landlords are] losing money, I understand, but the severity of the raise, I don't understand. I'm only human." Monthly rent fees for the Motoraunt, home of the famed Monster Burgers, went from $1,000 to $3,000 last January. Reczak's late husband, Wayne Bond, had erected the restaurant back in 1983, when he welded an engine from a Cadillac El Dorado to a double-decker structure. Originally, the couple were intent on driving to California and selling their soul food along the way, but settled here instead, finding a permanent home at 12410-66 St., in 1994. The Motoraunt will close its doors for good at the end of this month.

IT'S Labour Day weekend, so that means Hawrelak Park is hosting the Symphony Under the Sky festival (September 3-6). The 16th annual musical tradition has Bob Bernhardt conducting the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra under the stars, sampling "everything from Bach to Billy Joel." The onsite box office offers Adult Reserved ($29) and Adult Grass ($20) tickets, as well as Child Reserved ($13) and Grass (free) choices. Food and drink vendors are in place at the Heritage Amphitheatre, and includes wine and beer. Today (Sept. 6) marks the final day of the festival. See video below.

LAST Friday (Sept. 3) the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) launched a brand new service that will allow travellers to check in and park their vehicles at the same time. Actually, it's two services, the jetSet program's youPark and wePark, and they're a first for a Canadian airport. The new 3,300-stall parking lot allows valet service with wePark, while youPark gives you the option to grab a ticket, park, and then walk to any of the three heated shelters where you'll be picked up by a shuttle. In addition to these new features the EIA also introduced WestJet's own check-in terminals. Park before December 10th and you could win yourself a Lexus.

"WE'RE a northern winter city so we want to explore the potential of finding a home for a winter market," claimed Ed Fong, spokesman for the Downtown Farmers' Market Association. The 104th Street market, which shuts down for the winter on October 9, wants to find a way to make the century-old City Market a year-round outlet. "We're trying to discover what [people] want in the winter market and barriers of attending a winter market." More than 650 patrons have since filled out a survey about the concept, and most are for it. The City Market sees about 19,000 visitors every week.

OUR favourite Mailman, sir Ray Mailman, will be taking to the stage of the Metro Room, at Axis Cafe (10349-Jasper Ave.) next Saturday (September 11 @ 8PM). Bassist Ian McCarthy and drummer Darryl Glen will have his back during the show, which will set you back just ten bucks. So, if nothing else, come out for "an evening of music, laughter and awkwardness." Advanced e-tickets are available at yeglive.

WE'RE not even sure what's going on with this proposed downtown arena, and now this: "We have to have a new stadium." That's according to FC Edmonton soccer club owner Tom Fath, who figures Commonwealth is too big and Foote Field is too small. A new structure for the team would be just right. "Once the season is finished we're going to begin to do a lot of work toward making that happen," Fath continued, referring to the construction of a stadium that needs to be "between the size of Commonwealth and Foote Field...." FC Edmonton, which apparently lost $2 million during its startup season, will join the North American Soccer League in 2011. There are no concrete plans, yet, to develop said stadium.

A GROUP of residents, landlords, police officers, club operators and organizations released more than three dozen recommendations to combat issues on Jasper Avenue last Thursday (Sept. 2), but the one that really struck a chord was extending bar closing hours to 4AM. This idea would include liquor cut off remaining at 2AM, but would allow for less congestion at those last call hours as patrons would, in theory, trickle out in smaller groups throughout the early morning hours. These recommendations, which were also conceived over an online survey of more than 1,300 locals, have not sat well with all area residents or club owners, the latter of whom would have to remain open later with no extra revenue to speak of. One of the other suggestions for the downtown avenue was to license buskers, an idea that was once proposed for Whyte Avenue, but never took off.

COUNTRY Music Week is about to strike Edmonton (September 8-12), leading up to the Canadian Country Music Association Awards next Sunday (Sept. 12). It kicks off with the Pics & Sticks Charity Hockey Classic at the Leduc Recreation Centre on Wednesday, Sept. 8 (7PM). The next day (Sept. 9) the Shaw Conference Centre will host both the Songwriters' Cafe (3-5:30PM) and New Artist Showcase (9:30-11:30PM). Songwriters' Cafe will continue into the 10th and the 11th as well, and the CCMA Industry Brunch & Awards will also hit up the Shaw on Friday (10:30AM-12:30PM). The West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace will be the setting for FanFest on Saturday the 11th (11AM-3PM), and then the big awards show will take place on the 12th (5PM) at Rexall Place. The 29th annual CCMAs, an all-ages event, will feature Terri Clark, Johnny Reid, Doc Walker, George Canyon, Paul Brandt, One More Girl, Dean Brody, and Edmonton's own Corb Lund. Tickets are still available ($30-$95) at Ticketmaster.

EDMONTON will be welcoming many musical and comedic acts to our city over the coming weeks, including The Gaslight Anthem @ Edmonton Event Centre (Sept. 8 @ 7PM), The Dustin Bentall Outfit @ Lyve on Whyte (Sept. 8 @ 8PM), Andrew Grose @ National Park Racetrack (Sept. 10 @ 6PM), Daniel, Fred & Julie @ Brixx Bar & Grill (Sept. 10 @ 8PM), Doctor P & Dieselboy @ The Starlite Room (Sept. 11 @ 9PM), Pauly Shore @ Union Hall (Sept. 12 @ 9PM), Johnny Reid @ Jubilee Auditorium (Sept. 13-16 @ 7:30PM), Serj Tankian @ Winspear Centre (Sept. 13 @ 8PM), Pennywise @ EEC (Sept. 14 @ 7PM), Aerosmith & Joan Jett @ Rexall Place (Sept. 14 @ 7:30PM), Justin Nozuka @ Starlite (Sept. 16 @ 6PM), Kim Mitchell @ Northlands Park Racetrack (Sept. 17 @ 6PM), April Wine @ Century Casino (Sept. 17 @ 8PM), Brent Butt @ River Cree Casino (Sept. 17 @ 8PM), and Chali 2na @ The Pawn Shop (Sept. 12 @ 9PM). Tickets for all of these shows are available at Ticketmaster.

AND finally, I Heart Edmonton would like to wish 630 CHED's Gord Whitehead good luck in his retirement, after more than 30 years in the radio industry.

The video clip below features ESO conductor Bob Bernhardt talking about this year's Symphony Under the Sky festival.


  1. DAmmit! I am going to miss the 24/one challenge!!!! Find out the topic for me and let me know....I can do it from Winnipeg!

  2. Will do. There's a $60 entrance fee, it's gotta be less than 6 minutes, family-friendly, and you need a team of 3 people. Good luck!


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