Showing posts from July, 2015

Edmonton's Heritage Festival 2015

This melting pot we call home will be on full display at the 40th annual Heritage Festival this August long weekend

by emil tiedemann

EDMONTON is without a doubt a diverse city, a virtual smorgasbord of citizens and visitors from around the world, stretching over six continents and more than a hundred countries. Just look around your workplace, visit a shopping centre, or scour your friends list on Facebook, and you'll notice faces that represent all corners of the globe.

That's something that we should not only be proud of, but something that we need to continue to recognize and to celebrate. Diversity is what Canada is all about after all; it's what we were built on and how we flourished as a nation. It's also one of the many encouraging reasons why we stand out from most of the rest of the world.

The Servus Heritage Festival (August 1-3) in William Hawrelak Park is how Edmontonians celebrate the vibrant multicultural heritage right here in our own backyard, and has be…

rEview/ Those Who Dare to Dream

Local author Leif Gregersen brings us back to the brutalities of WWII in his coming of age novel Those Who Dare to Dream

by paula e. kirman

WRITER Leif Gregersen is as versatile as he is prolific. His self-published volumes include memoirs, short stories, and poetry. Those Who Dare to Dream is his first novel for mature young adult readers. 

Those Who Dare to Dream tells the story of Matthew, a young soldier in World War II. He is from a small mining town in Alberta and he and his brother decide to volunteer for the war. Matthew's journey includes survival, love, loss, and the coming of age that results. 

The story is very fast-paced, almost seeming rushed at times, and at other times is rather brutal. Matthew ends up in a prisoner of war camp and has to exhibit maturity beyond his years in order to save his life (and others') and get home.

Although the main character is at the latter end of his teen years, I would hesitate to classify this novel as specifically for young adults…

A Few Minutes with Jesse Beyer

Saskatonian Jesse Beyer will deliver come sunshine or rain as Global Edmonton's newest member of their #1 weather team!

by emil tiedemann

"GO big or go home!" That's what local meteorologist Jesse Beyer told himself when he made the decision to spend a year in Australia after he finished high school in hometown Saskatoon. 

It's an adage that he seems to have stuck with through the years, as he now gets set to take over the six o'clock weather over at Edmonton's #1 news station, Global. Can't get much bigger than that! 

When Beyer, 27, returned home from Aussieland, he enrolled in NAIT's Radio & Television program and upon graduating found work as an intern at CHAT TV in Medicine Hat. Then he spent a year as the six & ten o'clock weatherman at Saskatoon's division of Global, and then two and a half years over at Edmonton's CTV station. 

This Monday, the self-proclaimed "weather nerd" will take over for Nicola Crosbie (who n…

The Rainbow Bus Brigade

Imagine an Edmonton where locals and visitors alike could get around from one cool spot to another quickly, easily & in style!

by emil tiedemann

OVER the years one of the main concerns and annoyances I've heard from visitors to Edmonton is the ability to get from one 'tourist destination' to another, quickly and with ease. We're an expansive city, and these sought-after destinations can be far in between, so getting around to all of them is a near impossibility if we've got visiting travellers who do not have a vehicle and a knack for directions. 

Or maybe you're from Edmonton and you've got weekend out-of-towners stopping by, and you want to parade them around your hometown's hot spots, but all you've got for getting around is a 5-speed with a pink basket on the front of it.

Perhaps you're an Edmontonian without any sort of wheels of your own, but after all these years you've finally found the time to see what some of these local attractio…

Edmonton's Muttart Conservatory

Taking the 'Journey to Middle Earth' at Edmonton's iconic Muttart Conservatory

by emil tiedemann

ONE of Edmonton's most defining structures is the collective of the Muttart Conservatory, those five glass pyramids that highlight the city's pristine river valley. They've become a part of our local culture, an identifier for Canadians who aren't from here. 

And that's why I'm all the more embarrassed that it took me this long to actually see inside this local landmark, situated along the North Saskatchewan since 1976. But let's just keep that between us, shall we!

The Muttart is a botanical garden operated by the City of Edmonton, and includes three greenhouses, public gardens, and those four famous pyramids, three of which are permanent biomes (tropical, temperate, and arid regions), while the other is a rotating display of plant species. 

Designed by the late architect Peter Hemingway, the Muttart is home to both common and exotic plant life from arou…

The Keg's Lobster Summer Menu Tasting

The Keg upped the ante and proves with their enticing Lobster Summer Menu why they're at the top of their game!

by emil tiedemann

I'VE somehow gone all these years without ever experiencing one of the most craved and sought after dishes out there...fresh lobster! Crazy, I know, but I've always been more of a cheeseburger kinda guy, harbouring a weak stomach for anything too far out of my comfort zone. That is until now!

Myself and some of my fellow bloggers were invited to The Keg's annual Lobster Summer Menu Tasting, essentially a feast fit for a king (or queen)! A five-course meal with an open bar is beyond extravagant for a guy who is usually down with whatever's on the BBQ, and now look what you've gone and've spoiled me!

My sister and I arrived at the South Edmonton Common branch of The Keg (1631-102 Street/ 780.485.6530) at around 5.30 this past Thursday, and started off with a margarita and the Szechwan Lobster: golden fried lobster and shrim…

A Few Minutes with Mickey Wilson

Local transgender pioneer & advocate Mickey Wilson talks about the struggles and triumphs of finally realizing his true self

by emil tiedemann

WHEN I look at a form with an ‘M’ and an ‘F’ option, I stroke them both out and write ‘T’ for trans,” admitted Mickey Wilson, executive director of the Pride Centre of Edmonton, and the first out trans masculine person in the city. “I refuse to enter into their binary gender politics. That’s not my problem; my problem is you haven’t prepared a place for my identity to exist.” 

Wilson won’t settle for anything other than what he believes is right, because he’s had to deal with a lifetime of sorting through the unimaginable complexities of being born into “a body that didn’t work” for him. That in itself could be seen as an insurmountable obstacle to overcome, but it was reality for Wilson, and one that included the burden of being disowned by his own family as well as repudiated by members of a community that didn’t quite get him. 

“I remembe…

rEview/ A Year of Days

The routine ins & outs of life are the backdrop of Myrl Coulter's nostalgic essays that pay homage to the memory of her late mother

by paula e. kirman

THE loss of a parent is one of those defining moments in life. For writer Myrl Coulter, the loss of her mother to a rare form of dementia was inspiration for a eulogy which led to the series of personal essays that make up the volume AYear of Days.

Coulter writes about aspects of her life that are actually quite mundane: vacations, special holidays, childhood memories, cooking soup, learning to play golf, and her annual ritual of attending the Folk Fest. Basically, fifteen essays that explore the average days that make up a typical year. What unites the essays is the ever-present memory of her mother and how she influenced Coulter's life and experiences.

What the personal narratives are, ultimately, are meditations on absence. Coulter obviously has a very full life, yet the absence of her mother is still keenly felt. Her words…