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18th Calgary International Film Festival Hits the Silver Screen


Tickets for the Calgary International Film Festival don’t last long—grab them while you can! (Photo courtesy of the Calgary International Film Festival)

Ready the popcorn, extra butter please! The Calgary International Film Festival is hitting theatres in 2017 from September 20 to October 1. Over the past 18 years the festival has grown steadily, proving that Calgarians really love their cinema — last year the festival hit a record attendance of 36,700 film-goers eager to watch 200 multi-genre feature and short films from more than 40 countries. (more…)

Interview with Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario

This weekend (Sep 22 – 24) the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo will give fans the opportunity to get their geek on and meet and listen to some of the stars and creators of their favourite films, TV shows, and comics. One of the guests we are delighted to welcome is Charles Martinet, who is best known as the voice of Mario and his work with Nintendo. WHERE Edmonton recently interviewed the talented and delightful Martinet about his work and upcoming visit to Edmonton.

Charles Martinet will be at the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo this weekend, Sep 22-24. Photo courtesy of Edmonton Expo.

WHERE Edmonton (W): What do you love about being a voice actor?

Charles Martinet (CM): It’s what I absolutely love to do. You get to do all these characters and create them off the top of your head and just have fun. When you actually do the character, like my favourite character in the world like Mario, you get to become that character when you’re doing the job. To me, Mario is so full of happiness and fun. He’s got a sense of adventure and this positivity, facing adversity with a (imitates Mario) “Here we gooo!” Every bit of acting is always exploring dimensions of yourself, so I hope I have that level of optimism.

W: You’ve always stipulated that your main principles in life are to be happy and kind and to have fun. How do you continue to maintain and promote these principles after so many years in the industry?

CM: It’s so easy. Because when someone says, “Hey, would you do the Mario voice?” and I go, “Here we gooo!” and I see them smile, that makes me just absolutely joyful and excited about it. It keeps the character fresh and young and alive in me. (Mario voice) “It’s-a me, Mario!” At the Edmonton Expo, I’ll be giving autographs and taking pictures with people, and I don’t just stand there to take the picture. I say, “Let’s make Mario poses and go ‘Whoopeeeee!’ together.” I sometimes look up when I’m autographing and I’ll do the voices, and I see the smiles on people’s faces and that keeps the character forever new and fun.

W: Is that your favourite part about attending conventions and expos?

CM: I love everything about it, to tell you the truth. I love seeing people in costumes that they’ve designed. Some of these people spend a whole year making the perfect Princess Peach or Princess Daisy or Rosalinda or Mario, Luigi, Waluigi—their favourite character or some character from an anime, or some people are hopping around in a Tyrannosaurus Rex costume. It’s so spectacular—I love that. It’s people having fun. And being immersed in this place of total joy and fun, it’s really just the greatest experience. It’s my favourite way to have a weekend.

W: You have a spotlight panel scheduled for the Saturday. Do you know what sorts of topics or content fans can expect to hear discussed?

CM: I will talk about my life and getting the job of Mario and the joy of doing it. I always like to start by saying thank you, because, really, it is the enthusiasm of the people who love Mario games, anime, and sci-fi that allow us the opportunity to connect with you and to go around the world. To be appreciated for what you love to do is just such an amazing pleasure. And of course, I’ll take any questions about my career and my life. It’s always so fun to connect with people.

W: What’s your favourite game that you’ve created?

CM: (imitates Mario)Super Mario Odyssey!” I’m so in love with that game. I can’t wait until it comes out! Although, I will warn you, every time I see a game for the first time or play it for the first time, it becomes my favourite of all time… But Super Mario Odyssey is a very marvelous, hallmark game. It’s amazing. If you think in terms of the longevity of Mario games and Zelda games, the passion and fun of Nintendo comes out… The way that the game is put together, it has a level of integrity that’s just magnificent.

W: If you weren’t a voice actor, what do you think you’d be doing, to bring you this level of joy that you’ve found?

CM: This summer, I was in London, and there was this Eastern European guy who was outside one of the museums. He had a bucket and two poles and this string tied between the poles with little loops in it, and he would dip that into his bucket and, as he pulled it up, hundreds of bubbles would go flying over London to the absolute elation and squeals of joy of all these beautiful children who were watching. Everybody was so happy and would stop and watch. Even the most stodgy adults couldn’t resist the temptation of poking the bubbles… I would want to find a way to bring that kind of joy, and I would definitely go out and get a bucket and two poles to do that. To do what you love to do in your life and to bring some sense of happiness to people is such an amazing and unique privilege. It’s something I just fell into—I didn’t know anything about Mario or Nintendo. I only knew that I wanted to be happy and to bring smiles to people.

W: What’s one thing that fans would be surprised to learn about you?

CM: I’m pretty much an open book! My passion for travel? I love stepping on a plane. If I’m not doing a show or a video game, I get on a plane and I go somewhere because I love food, art, culture, and architecture… I have a passion for food. I will definitely be hunting for great food in Edmonton, I’ll tell you that much.

W: Where’s your favourite place that you’ve traveled?

CM: That is the impossible question. That’s like asking about my favourite Mario game—I love them all. Everywhere I go is just magnificent. It’s such an adventure, such an exploration. I love places in Asia, in Africa, in Europe, in Eastern Europe. And there’s still so much of the world I haven’t seen. So I’ll get back to you on that in 20 years!

W: Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to in Edmonton?

CM: I can’t wait to explore the restaurants! And I can’t wait, most of all, to meet Mario fans, because I am a Mario fan, too. And to hang out, take pictures, do autographs, and hear their stories and adventures is just really great. I love seeing the cosplay and seeing people having a great time. This group [The Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo] in particular really puts on a great show. They’re so caring about the fans and so energetically enthusiastic about making the experience the best it can be for everyone who comes.

Mr. Martinet’s panel, “Spotlight on Charles Martinet,” is on Saturday, September 23 at 11 am and is included with general admission. He will also be signing autographs at designated times each day. Visit the Edmonton Expo website for scheduled times and more information.


WHERE Edmonton is giving away 2 one-day passes to the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo this weekend! To enter to win a pair of tickets, follow us on Twitter (@whereedmonton) and watch for tweets about the contest. The lucky winner will be chosen on Thursday, September 21.

Hot Date: The Sound of Music

Photo courtesy Bottom Line Productions, Inc.

For over 60 years, this romantic and beloved production has been thrilling audiences as they remember their favourite things. In The Sound of Music, a woman takes a job as a governess for a large family with a widowed father while questioning whether or not she should become a nun. This new production still features all of the remarkable songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s original show, including “My Favourite Things” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Whether this is your first (or sixteenth going on seventeenth) time seeing the production, you’ll take pleasure in filling your heart with the sound of music! For tickets, call 1-866-540-7469 or visit Edmonton Broadway.

The Sound of Music | September 19–24 | $35–$125
Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-427-2760

On the Catwalk

Photo by Steve Edgerton

A change in weather means a change in fashion, and Western Canada Fashion Week will kick off its 28th season in style. Showcasing over 50 talented local, national, and international designers, stunning runway shows will feature the newest trends in fashion and beauty. Keep an eye out for the young talents breaking out into the fashion scene with the annual design competitions and student showcases. You’ll be inspired to find a hot new look for the upcoming season! For tickets, call 780-420-1757 or visit TIX on the Square.

Western Canada Fashion Week | September 14-22
ATB Financial Arts Barns | 10330-84 Ave. | 780-409-1910

Art Exhibits You Can’t Miss in Calgary


Calgary is home to some amazing artists. Here are a few exhibits and projects that you won’t want to miss.  (more…)

Beakerhead 2017: Everything You Need to Know


Beakerhead’s Four to Six takes over the downtown core with three full blocks of open air experimentation along Stephen Avenue. Swing by this free event and see what happens when the street becomes a laboratory! (Photo by Kelly Hofer)

Science, art, engineering — at times it can seem nearly impossible to reconcile these three fields of experimentation. But from September 13 to 17, these industries will combine forces in Calgary to put on a citywide spectacle that is sure to delight the inventor in all of us. (more…)

Talent Spotlight: Nikolas Ledgerwood

Photo courtesy FC Edmonton

FC Edmonton captain Nikolas Ledgerwood got his start playing soccer in Lethbridge, Alberta, where the leagues were much smaller but the opportunities were greater. “When I was 14, I started to practice with the men’s team who played in the Alberta Major Soccer League, and that’s when I first got into playing at the competitive level,” says Ledgerwood. But when the opportunity arose to represent Canada at the U-15 level in Germany, he realized that playing soccer professionally was his calling. Ledgerwood spent the earlier part of his athletic career overseas and attributes his success to his experiences in Germany. Among the defining moments in his life, he lists, “Getting over to Germany at such a young age, learning a whole new culture, and being offered professional contracts in a soccer country.”

After spending 12 years in Germany, Ledgerwood found himself back in Alberta playing for Edmonton’s professional soccer team. His experiences have allowed him to give back to his community and help out the team as captain. “As a player, I feel like I still have a lot to give,” he says, “and looking down the road I would definitely like to get into a coaching role.” Already he is using his experience and passion to take on more leadership roles by becoming involved with soccer camps and coaching younger players.

When he’s not on the field, Ledgerwood enjoys the amenities that Edmonton offers with his family, including his five-month-old son. “Once immersed in the city, you find a lot of small little corners that you tend to enjoy. I love the river valley with all the walking trails.” Ledgerwood also enjoys the street markets and festivals around the city. “It’s the little things in the city that make it that much more enjoyable to be a part of.”

Visit the FC Edmonton website for more information about the team and for tickets to upcoming games at Clarke Stadium.

Calgary’s Most Creative Cocktails


Timo Salimaki, The Living Room, Winner of Canad’s Most Imaginative Bartender 2017, hosted by Bombay Sapphire. Photo By Trevor Lalonde Photography

Whether you’re in Calgary for business or pleasure, there is always time for a good cocktail. For bars that can cater to your preferences with alluring drink lists, it’s important to know where the creative bartenders are.

7 Fall Festivals in Calgary


Serpent Mother by San Francisco artists the Flaming Lotus Girls. Photo by Tristan Savatier.

As the days get shorter and the trees lose their leaves, there is no reason we should run inside quite yet. There is still plenty to see out and about around the city this fall. (more…)

Where to Eat at Calgary’s Top Attractions


Sky 360 restaurant in the Calgary Tower. Photo Courtesy of Sky 360

You might already know of these places as some of the must-see spots in Calgary, but did you know they also have some of the must-eat restaurants? Here are some dining hot spots within attractions you won’t want to miss.

Calgary Comedy: 6 Must-See Shows


Joel Murray, Jeff B. Davis, Ryan Stiles, and Greg Proops will bring their live improv act Whose Live Anyway? to the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino Oct. 13, 2017. (Photo courtesy of whoseliveanyway.com)

Looking to laugh it up this fall with unbeatable improv, stand-up, and some good old-fashioned yuks? Don’t miss these famous comedians when they roll into town! (more…)

Ask The Expert: Les Clefs d’Or Corner (September/October 2017)


Photo by Jamie Tweedy of Tweedy Studios.

We asked Edmonton expert and Les Clefs d’Or Nella Mirante at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald for her advice about fall time and shopping in the city!

1. Where would you recommend someone dine before a concert or hockey game at Rogers Place?
I recommend Rostizado, which is a quick walk from the venue. Start with the delicious Queso Fundido and the Gorditas, and then share a platter of slow-roasted chicken and pork. And save room for the house-made Churros!

2. What’s your pick for a great spot to enjoy a local beer?
My favourite spot is Craft Beer Market for a great selection. The fall weather is usually still great to enjoy your drinks on their fabulous rooftop patio!

3. What’s your favourite fall festival?
I always look forward to sharing in the laughs with the fantastic line-up of hilarious comedians at the Edmonton Comedy Festival in October!

4. Where should men and women go to update their looks for the fall season?
My favourite one-stop shop for both men and women is Simons. They have great collections and accessories for any season!

5. Where would you send a traveller who wants a great workout?
My top recommendation is the Fairmont Macdonald’s state-of-the-art health club, where you can play an intense game of squash or racquet ball. If you forgot any of your workout gear, the club has some available to rent. And end your workout with a relaxing massage!

Les Clefs d’Or Concierges have been opening doors for hotel guests in Canada since 1976, and today there are more than 150 members from coast to coast and more than 3,500 members worldwide! You can find Nella at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.