Showing posts from 2011

Happy New Year, Edmonton!

10, 9, 8, 7, 6....

IT'S only hours before we say goodbye (& good riddance) to 2011, and gladly welcome in 2012. I know many of you have already begun the festivities & celebrations, and others are in fact days in. Others, not so much. Whatever the case, 'I Heart Edmonton' wants to say thank you for all your support in '11, Edmonton. I know we were only half-assin' it this year, but we're gonna try and full-ass it this time 'round. That's right, I just say FULL-ASS!! Also, we hope 2012 is good to all of you, better or even better than 2011 was.

Please continue to check in when you can, don't drink & drive, play safe, use protection, don't eat yellow snow, no means no, and all that other hoopla. Take care, Edmonton, and see you in the new year. Happy 2012!!!!

Emil Tiedemann,
"I Heart Edmonton"
December 31, 2011

Edmonton Looks Back on 2011

The time when we come up with exciting (& exhausted) resolutions only to have them peter out is near, so 'I Heart' wanted to reflect on a year that was, apparently, pretty good for some local folks...


It's almost 2012, people! Time flies way too fast, let me tell you. I remember when Alanis Morissette and Hootie & the Blowfish were the shit, and when Jennifer Lopez decided that she could sing, too. I remember the craze over the Y2K bug, Pokeman, and of course 9/11. I remember when Barack Obama became President of the United States and when Michael Jackson died. Ok, that wasn't so long ago, but wow...why does it all seem to go by so damn quickly?!

And now, here we are...about to say goodbye to yet another year. One that was no good to me, to say the good riddance! But that doesn't mean that 2011 wasn't good to others, or at least parts of it. So I wanted to ask some local well-knowns and/or well-to-dos what their favourite memo…

Merry Christmas, Edmonton!

HI there, Edmonton! It's December 25th, so 'I Heart Edmonton' wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. Empty that slightly-spoiled milk you left for Santa, tear open those gifts that you spent hours wrapping, and enjoy your turkey-slash-ham-slash-IHOP dinner. But most of all, I hope the best for you and your family & friends this Christmas. Take care and happy holidays!

Christmas in Edmonton, 2011

In between dodging fellow shoppers at the mall and decorating your fake Christmas trees, indulge in some of these suggestions on how to relax during the holiday season in festive fashion...

Last Friday (Dec. 9) Candy Cane Lane officially went into effect, which means the 8-block strip of holiday hues will welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors over the next few weeks. Walk, drive, or book a horse-guided sleigh ride ($12-14/ kids free) down 148th Street, between 92nd and 100th Avenues, and bring a donation for the Edmonton Food Bank if possible. The Lane runs until midnight on January 2, 2012.

The 42nd annual 'Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree' is just days away from taking center stage at the Jubilee (11455-87 Ave.) for a 5-date presentation (Dec. 16-18), featuring special guest Ruben Studdard (American Idol). The beloved tradition will feature more than 150 singers and a live orchestra performing within a 35-foot 'Christmas tree', adorned with thousands of gleaming lig…

E-Spot/ Bistro India

Up against dozens of like-minded eateries scattered throughout Edmonton, Bistro India manages to distinguish itself by focusing on a region overlooked by all the rest


"THERE are 46 other Indian restaurants in Edmonton, and all of them specialize in Punjabi dishes." I'm paraphrasing here, but that's pretty much what the guy told us after we settled our bill at Bistro India, apparently the only Indian eatery in town with authentic South Indian delicacies on the menu.

The funny thing is we only came for drinks. Okay, so it's not that funny, but it's true. My buddy and I had stumbled past this incognito den after a night of wings 'n' rum on Jasper Ave. We insisted on stopping in at some point, as part of our haphazard mission to wet our whistles at each and every "pub" in town. Talk about aspirations!

Back to the Bistro. If not for the cavalier signage and casual lighting, we'd have never known this place even existed, virtua…

EDvent/ Edmonton Comedy Festival, 2011

Etown gets its laugh-on with the first annual Edmonton Comedy Festival, and it's been a long time coming according to the event's sold-out crowds...


AT times the tool in front of us was somehow more entertaining than the stand-up chatter itself, but mostly when the emcee served as the night's intermission. Not that this Saturday night performance of the 1st annual Edmonton Comedy Festival was not worth our 25 bucks and two hours, but this guy was a discreet diversion of the guilty pleasure kind.

Draft beer may have amped his nuisance, but it couldn't be the sole fall guy for his abrasive over-laughing and (actual) knee-slapping, taunting the patience of his own company. People!

But enough about that guy, because my buddy and I were there for something entirely different. Coast to coast comics testing our senses of humour with their scripted and seemingly impromptu punchlines as part of the 5-day ECF (presented by ATB Financial, btw), yet another Etown f…

Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival, 2011

The groundbreaking E-town Fringe Fest turns 30, and invites all y'all to come celebrate with the world's most outskirted stage junkies...


I REMEMBER when I turned 30. It wasn't anything I had exactly been looking forward to, or would even consider celebrating. Kind've a shitty mess, really. But I'm over it now...ish.

So, I know exactly how the 2011 Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival feels, as it approaches the big 3-0. But the mood'll be somewhat--or drastically--less sombre than that of my self-depricating pity party...and this I'm actually looking forward to!

From Thursday, August 11th until Sunday the 21st, the 30th annual Edmonton Fringe will take over Old Strathcona, hosting more than 1,200 local, national, and international performances during the 11-day world-renowned celebration.

When you think about it, it's almost like a metro within a metro, hence this year's "Fringeopolis" theme, which "represents the city wi…

A Few Minutes With...Christian Hansen

Ever wondered who local singer Christian Hansen's man crush was, or perhaps what his guiltiest of guilty pleasures is? Me neither, but you're about to find out...


"I'M glad to see they responded to the obvious shortage by opening a donair shop where Megatunes used to be." That was the first Twitter update I read when I clicked the "Follow" button on Christian Hansen & the Autistics' page. In those 20 words I got a pretty good sense of what kind of guy Hansen, smirk and all, is. Well, the 20 questions he answered for 'I♥E' below kinda helped, too.

Hansen, frontman and one third of the local "dazzle of disco mixed with the immediacy of punk rock" musicianship, seems to have his nose to the ground when it comes to the know of local music, and he has a genuine adoration for it, and an appreciation for our support of it. Hence his disfavour over local music institution Megatunes closing its doors to make room for a p…

Music Clip of the Month/ 5-11

Sister Gray's "Close the Night" (2010)


I SWEAR we're not just ripping off Sonic's Band of the Month...really! Yes, this clip just happens to be filmed at Sonic 102.9's studio, and by Sonic 102.9's own staff, and featuring Sonic 102.9's February 2011 BOTM (Band of the Month) Sister Gray, but that's all simply a coincidence! For the most part.

Okay, I confess: some of our Music Clips of the Month were easily inspired by former Sonic BandsOTM (i.e. The Weekend Kids, Christian Hansen & The Autistics), but what else can I say except that Sonic features some good local shit?! Case in point, Sister Gray.

"It's been six years, but it's taken us this long to have a female-fronted Band of the Month," said Rick Lee, the Sonic on-air personality who also happened to direct and edit the clip below. "Congratulations," he continued. That's a pretty long time to wait, which at least warrants some credibility to S…

Suit Yourself Clothing Swap & Silent Auction

Local charity makes sure low-income women are dressed for success


"ALONG with a handful of friends and family who volunteered weekly, we helped about 100 women that first year," remembers Karmen Masson, Executive Director of Edmonton-based charitable organization "Suit Yourself." She was referring to 2002, when she set up a makeshift refuge for low-income women seeking employment or transitioning into the workforce, and in need of free quality clothing. 
"My parents used to own a 90-year-old walk-up apartment building in the downtown area," explains Masson, "and there was a vacant space in the basement." That's where Masson, a full-time lawyer and mother, began collecting and distributing professional, fashionable, and free clothes for a cause unique to our city, one that might have you wondering, "Why didn't anyone think of this before?!"
"Over 10 years ago I was looking to create some good karma in my life,…

Heart of the City Music & Arts Festival 2011

More than 40 artists are scheduled to appear at the 8th annual HOTC fest, which will kickoff Edmonton's bustling festival season


What: Free music & arts festival
When: Saturday, June 4 (11AM-8PM)-Sunday, June 5 (11AM-7PM)
Where: Giovanni Caboto Park (corner of 108A Ave. & 95 St.)

IT'S that time of year, when Edmonton becomes the place to be for festivals, as events overlap each other each and every day of the week. One of the first up for the season is the 8th annual Heart of The City Music & Arts Festival, which will take over Giovanni Caboto Park the first weekend of June. Oh, and it's FREE!

Andrew Scott, Darryl Matthews, Julie Jonas, Colin Close, New Youth Edmonton, Jenie Thai, and The Magpies are amongst the Edmonton-affliated artists who will be showcased at the 2-day festival in Little Italy, joining other emerging and pro acts for original, live, and local entertainment. For the full 2011 line-up of acts and artists click here.

Located in an …

EDvent/ Shad Concert & Interview

Juno-winning hip-hop elite Shad graces E-town, and graciously answers our questions about Canadian rap, kicking Drake's ass, and most importantly, his favourite beer!


I WAS led into the back entryway of the Brixx Bar & Grill, past the secondary bathrooms, down a short hallway, through the kitchen, and then into the backest of back rooms. That's right, I said backest! That's where I'd spend the next 10 minutes, asking Kenya-born, Ontario-raised, Vancouver-residing Rwandan rapper Shad (rhymes with 'Chad' FYI) some questions about his recent Juno win, his musical influences, and what his favourite beer is.

Heineken, by the way.

I was the last interviewer that Thursday (May 5) night, so I could imagine Shad's anticipation to get this over with. But it was impossible to tell, as Shad patiently acknowledged each of my inquiries like a pro, making me feel like I was talking to a long-time buddy of mine. Maybe one day, no?! One who's opened …