Showing posts from 2012

E-Spot/ The Enjoy Centre

"Whether you're shopping for organic food or spending a relaxing day at the spa, chances are you can find it here--at the Enjoy Centre"


REFLECT, relax, reconnect. Those are three words St. Albert's Enjoy Centre swears by, making sure that its customers are well looked after. The tucked away facility is unique to the area, harbouring a variety of more elite services, from a whole foods market to a spa centre. And most folks I know are simply unaware of its existence.

Or it at least seems that way. Most people I ask have never even heard of the Enjoy Centre, much less "experienced" it. And how could one blame them? If you try to find your way to the centre (101 Riel Drive), you'll notice it's not exactly in your face, but rather practically hidden in a spot you couldn't possibly have accidentally driven past.

Maybe that's what they intended? Because, to be honest, I felt almost out of place with the more formal atmosphere and u…

Christmas Bow Blues Benefit, 2012

Vancouver-based blues singer Dalannah Gail Bowen will headline Food Bank benefit concert


"BOWEN has one of those voices that lays claim to part of your soul the first time you hear it and never lets go," wrote a critic for Canadian Musician Magazine. He was boasting about Vancouver blues singer Dalannah Gail Bowen, who's been a part of Canada's music scene for more than 40 years.

The outspoken activist got her start as part of The Feminine Touch, an all-female group that toured to support The Monkees and The Guess Who. On her own Bowen's opened for the likes of Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, and Willie Dixon. Earlier this year she launched her newest record, Them Menz, songs likely moulded out of recollections of health scares, addiction, and surviving homelessness.

Songs that you most likely will hear live if you catch Bowen at the second annual "Christmas Bow Benefit" show, raising funds for the Edmonton Food Bank. Old Strathcona's Blues…

Music Clip of the Month/ 11-12

Corb Lund's "Dig Gravedigger Dig" (2012)


"HE could be makin' more money, he could be out workin' the rigs. But he says he don't really like no company, he says he'd rather just dig." That's from Edmonton-born Corb Lund's latest "Dig Gravedigger Dig." It's a suitable theme for the title of the roots artist's 7th studio album, Cabin Fever (New West Records), which debuted at the top of the Canadian charts in August. It even registered south of the border, where the 12-track set (two additional tracks available only on iTunes) climbed to #51 on their country list. His first disc to dent a U.S. chart.

The former Grant MacEwan music student started his post-studies music ventures when he founded The Smalls, an Edmonton-based hard rock band, in 1989. He transitioned into a roots act after forming his own Corb Lund Band (now known as Corb Lund & the Hurtin' Albertans) in 1993, and issued a debut LP, tha…

Jasper Avenue Under Construction

A year seems like a long time to wait until construction has been completed on downtown's Jasper strip, but there's no doubting it'll be worth the wait


PEOPLE say there are only two seasons in Edmonton: winter (which is a big deal indeed) and construction. And since winter has obviously begun, I am probably not the only person who is wondering why Jasper Avenue still looks like a confusing mix of sand, concrete, and many, many fences.

Crossing the street happens to be a dangerous act, since the traffic lights are unreachable, due to the--surprise, surprise--fences. That makes people walk across the street randomly, and if there's a car coming, just run for it. That sounds almost like the main street in Mumbai, where you just start crossing and pray to Lord that cars manage to dodge you. But of course, in Edmonton, it's not as bad.

The construction began in May 2012 on the north side of Jasper Avenue. The Central LRT station is being renewed and the road…

A Few Minutes With...Roman Danylo

Before Roman Danylo comes through Etown as part of his country-wide Just For Laughs Comedy Tour, the Canadian TV comic graciously answered some questions for one of his not-so-secret!


I'VE been to enough stand-up shows to know that there's a sense of camaraderie between the comics that brave the stage. Sure, they might nip at each other from time to time, but there seems to be a genuine sense of support amongst them. That could explain why when I asked award-winning comedian Roman Danylo to name a current comic he thinks is overrated, he refrained. I'm sure Danylo had a suggestion or two, but I've come to the conclusion that there's perhaps an unwritten rule amongst his colleagues that advises you stay clear of peer ridicule.

Instead, Danylo eagerly endorsed an underrated comic, in Miami stand-up Brian Regan. "He, to me, is clearly the best stand-up comedian out there," Danylo insisted. "I can watch his stuff over and ov…

Be Seen In Jeans/ River City Round Up 2012

Don't miss out on this fun festival coming to Edmonton November's gonna be a wild ride!


JEANS were originally worn by farmers or miners because of their strength and resistance. But these fancy pants eventually became the most popular garment around. The "rednecks" still appreciate the practical denim wear, but nowadays the "city slickers" do so, too. Well, I admit that jeans aren't really appropriate in director meetings or city council assemblies, and that's why there's this fantastic program called "Be Seen In Jeans."

It takes place in line with the River City Round Up festival, which happens next week, November 2-11. It is a 10-day celebration of Edmonton's agriculture and western heritage, which includes lots of fun stuff, such as the aforementioned "Be Seen In Jeans" initiative.

Companies and organizations are welcome to support the program by engaging their employees and collecting a recommend…

Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour Contest!

The JFL Comedy Tour is heading across Canada...and before it reaches our neck of the woods, Capital One is offering a lucky reader the chance to win their "Laughing All the Way to the Bank" contest!


I'VE always told my friends that one of my favourite things to do is laugh until I cry. It's the best medicine, they say. And what's more funny than the trials & tribulations of our relationships?!

It's a common topic for stand-ups to use to tickle our funny bones, but it'll take center stage as the theme of the annual Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour, making its way through town Friday, November 16.

Last Comic Standing winner John Heffron, "The Domesticated Male," hosts the coast-to-coast "Relationship Edition" at the Jubilee Auditorium. Joining him onstage will be Jim "Modern Family Man" Breuer, Debra "The Single Cat Lady" DiGiovanni, and "Ladies' Man" Godfrey, all to discuss--or

Halloween in Edmonton, 2012

All dressed up with nowhere to go? Well, 'I Heart' is here to sift through the spooky events taking over Edmonton--or Deadmonton, for the time being--this Halloween season


THE Edmonton Corn Maze presents the "Farm of Fear" event this Halloween (Oct. 18-20, 25-28, 30-31/ 7-10PM), which will use actors, spooky surprises, props, and an eerie cornfield to "help set the mood and turn an ordinary farm yard into the 'Farm of Fear'." Admission to the corn maze (which is adjacent to the "Farm of Fear") is $12.50 and includes admission to the "Farm of Fear," which is recommended for ages 12+. For a map to the maze click here. (See video below).

ON Saturday, Oct. 27 you can join some 5,000 other locals for "Canada's largest costume party," the 14th annual "Halloween Thriller" at Edmonton EXPO Centre (7515-118 Ave.), presented by 104.9 Virgin Radio. The giant costume party will include eight DJ's sp…

Aboriginal Fashion in Edmonton

'I Heart' newbie Julia Horn takes in Alberta's most established Fashion Week event and discovers a new admiration for Aboriginal-inspired couture


ANOTHER Western Canada Fashion Week took place in Edmonton last month from September 13-20. The great thing about this event is that it offers opportunities to young and local designers. At WCFW they have the chance to present their collections, make contacts, and probably get discovered by a famous company. Our fashion week was full of talented newcomers, like the alumni of the Fashion Design Program at Marvel College (MC College).

The twelve young women presented their final collections at the Graduation Fashion Show at TransAlta Arts Barns on Thursday, September 13. The young designers showed a great variety of styles and ideas. The collection "Ruff and Honors" by Kaylah Emily Prakash appears as strong, confident and almost dark with its features like studs and corsetry. Sarah DenOtter presented a fun, fr…

EDvent/ John Fogerty Concert

They weren't the Beatles or the Stones, but John Fogerty and the rest of CCR were a mighty force in that same era, and had it not been for a sibling rivalry, they may not have become one of rock's most under-appreciated bands 


JUNE 3, 2009. That was when I was supposed to see John Fogerty perform live in concert at Rexall Place. But, I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

I ended up leaving work early that day, and not because I booked it off, but rather something just wasn't right. I didn't know what was wrong with me, just that something was wrong. I spent an hour in the makeshift infirmary at work before I decided to just drive home and get some sleep.

But I never made it home. Unbeknown to me at the time, I suffered a panic attack and had to pull over onto a side street. I collapsed to the ground in someone's front yard, scared shitless. I didn't know what was happening to me, or why. Finally, a passerby called an ambulance in her cell phon…

EDvent/ 'Four Lads Who Shook the World: The Beatles' Story, Part 2'

The Mayfield takes us down "Penny Lane" to look back on how the Beatles fell apart, recapped by a stellar cast of local lads


IT'S easy to forget how many timeless songs the Beatles accumulated over that storied decade. Songs that easily defined a generation, that revolutionized pop culture, and that wore out record machines on both sides of the Atlantic. It's easy to forget, that is, until four chaps come together to remind us.

Songs about yellow submarines, weeping guitars, girls named Lucy and Eleanor Rigby, and even some song about a walrus?! And although Van Wilmott's Four Lads Who Shook the World: The Beatles' Story, Part 2--now playing at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre until November 4th--is limited to the later half of the Beatles' unrivalled repertoire, there's more than enough gems to explain why John (Chris Wynters), Paul (Kevin Dabbs), George (Harley Symington), and Ringo (Bob Rasko) are of another calibre.

Part 2 picks up from …

'I Heart Edmonton,' 2009-2012...

After three years and endless memories and experiences, it's time that we say our goodbyes...


OVER the past three years I asked myself on several occasions if it was time to end this blog. Each time, I was unsure, worried that I was making the wrong decision. Well, as 'I Heart Edmonton' celebrated its three-year anniversary last week, that looming question came up once again. And yes, I again struggled somewhat with it, but deep down I knew the answer this time.


It felt like I was giving up on a good friend, saying goodbye to something that's been a big part of my life for three years now. But, at the same time, I felt relief. Because it meant that I can now focus my time on other passions of mine, such as photography, or travelling, or even writing a book some day. Besides, it felt as though 'I Heart' had run its course, that it was time to move on to something else.

I'll always be glad that I started 'I Heart' during the summe…

'I Heart' Turns III

My, my, how time flies's been three awesome years since we took over the world wide web, and so it only makes sense to take a few minutes to say: THANK YOU!


REMEMBER when you turned the big 0-3?! I don't either, but I'm gonna go ahead and imagine that there was cake and lots of juice, of both grape and apple, and gifts made from colourful plastics, and an ensemble of big people I could care less about. Sound about right?

Well, 'I Heart Edmonton' has just reached year trois, somewhat of a milestone in the blogosphere (& in the world of celebrity marriages, I might add!). This humble celebration certainly doesn't call for any gifts (but I like shiny things and cold hard cash if you insist!) or even cake, and unlike when I was three, 'I♥' actually cares about all the company...that's YOU guys!

And it's been an unforgettable three years, I must say: 1,094 days of discovering so much about the bestest city in the bestest c…

Desert Island Collection/ Christian Hansen

From the Stones to the Strokes, Toronto-via-Edmonton-via-Vancouver singer-songwriter Christian Hansen tells us who would be keeping him company if he was shipwrecked on his own Gilligan's Island

HAVE you ever imagined being stranded on a desert island? In our ever-populating world, I think many of us have. Had our wildest fantasy or worst nightmare--depending on your stance--come true, what do you think you'd want with you on said island? Some of your favourite books, perhaps? Your cellphone or laptop, maybe? A big bag of weed, no doubt? For me, I think--besides my friends & family, of course--I'd miss my music more than anything else. And so that's why I thought it'd be fun to find out what local singers and/or musicians would choose when I asked them what ten albums they would want with them had they been stranded on a desert island (not to mention a CD player and life supply of batteries, of course!). In other words, their 'desert islan…

A Few Minutes With...Nolan Crouse

St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse goes above and beyond his duties, sparing plenty of his free time to make St. Albert one of the best places to live in Canada...


IT'S easy to see that Nolan Crouse loves his city. It's written all over his Facebook page, which seems to be crowded with statuses congratulating local high school grads, and of folks thanking him for making an appearance at any number of events, or posts alerting residents of recent criminal infrequency, btw, in the city of St. Albert.

There's even photographs of things such as graffiti, in which Crouse proposes "let's find ways to rid ourselves of graffiti and report all this garbage." Clearly, Crouse is dedicated to making St. Albert a great place to live, work, or simply visit. In fact, that's his job!

But Crouse, as I soon discovered, is more than just the Mayor of Edmonton's closest neighbour. He's an advocate, a campaigner, a spokesman for St. Albert, it…