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Hot Art Round-Up: Oct 4 – 6



Sampler 2018
Herringer Kiss Gallery, 5 – 8 pm

Free First Thursday Night
Glenbow Museum, 5 – 9 pm

Shelter For What Remains
City of Calgary, Blank Page Studio, Leyden’s Funeral Home: 6 – 9 pm

M:ST 9 | Rita McKeough: Works ~ Soft Launch!
Royal Canadian Legion #1, 6 – 10 pm

Microbial Aura
Loft 112, 7 – 9 pm

M:ST 9 | Something, Somewhere – Jadda Tsui + Mat Lindenberg
Royal Canadian Legion #1, 9 – 11 pm



Artist Talk with Brittney Bear Hat
University of Calgary Department of Art, 10 – 11:30 am

Curated. FALL Market CALGARY
Bowness Community Association: Friday 5 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

U and Alan Belcher
The lily contemporary project space, 7 – 11 pm



Farmers & Makers Market at cSPACE
cSPACE King Edward, 10 am – 3 pm

Crafty Llama Book Signing
Owl’s Nest Books, local artists Renata Liwska and Mike Kerr: 11 am – 2 pm

Calgary Zombie Walk 2018
Olympic Plaza, noon – 5 pm

Fractured Mandalas: Patterns of Life
cSPACE, Blackboard Gallery (through November 30, opening reception October 11, 5 – 8 pm)

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Opening + Artist Talk
cSPACE, 6 – 8:30 pm

7th Annual Log Driver’s Waltz
Quickdraw Animation Society, Sunalta Community Centre: 6 – 9:30 pm 

15 things to do in Calgary in October


Autumn in Calgary means the arrival of some cornerstone festivals and events, bringing together the best of the city’s art, culture, food and drink. Read on to find out how to make the most of October!

Photo courtesy Caitie Lawrence.

There are few platforms in Calgary, let alone in Canada, that allow Indigenous people to tell their own stories. Since 2012, the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society has been making this possible through theatre. KAAHSINNONIKS (our ancestors), running on October 3 and 4, tell the story of what happened during the signing of Treaty 7 in 1877, through the collection and artistic interpretation of oral histories. The group’s second major production, KIITISTSINNONIKS (our mothers) will run from October 24-26.

A decade ago, Didion’s best selling memoir was adapted into a stage play that’s since been revered by audiences worldwide. Don’t miss your chance to see it this week at the Sage Theatre until October 6.

There is nothing quite like the infectious energy of this collective of musicians hailing from Brooklyn. Self-described as music for “intrepid listeners,” the West African-inspired Afrobeat orchestra is here on October 5 to bring you sounds of stylistic funk dappled with political nuance that you may not have experienced before.

A tale as old as time gets a special accompaniment: the CPO will bring the feature film to life on October 5 and 6 with performances of all your favourite songs!

Circus, theatre and live music collide in this western-inspired thrill ride on October 6.

A celebration of all things literature for writers, readers, and wordsmiths, this festival that runs from October 8-15, boasts multiple events each day, ranging from author Q&As, workshops, book signings and more.

Calgary’s Shakespeare Company are shaking up a classic by casting two women in the title roles. The show runs from October 929.

Rodney’s Oyster House is hosting an evening of messy fun on October 11, with three types of crab served family-style along with a pint of Steam Whistle.

Legendary The Guess Who frontman will rock the stage at Grey Eagle Resort and Casino on October 12.

If the title of this festival isn’t enough to convince you to attend, its menu will. On the docket for 2018? Over 40 different food selections from the city’s best restaurants and vendors, to be paired with an extensive list of global wines, beers and spirits. You’ll also be able to share your favourite sips and bites and vote for the Great Big Taste Awards in two food categories and 14 beverage categories. October 12 and 13.

Tamara Lindeman’s cool, feathered voice will coo out the narrative sounds of her fourth EP at Festival Hall on October 14. With her new collection of songs, the Toronto musician will sweep listeners away with unstructured, bold musical storytelling.

Introducing the perfect performance for young orchestra audiences, this rendition of Prokofiev’s masterpiece accompanied by the ever-charming Saint-Saens’ The Carnival of the Animals is sure to capture the imagination of children and adults alike, as Peter and his animal friends attempt to capture a wolf that is lurking about their village. See it on October 21.

Don’t miss this famed actor, writer and comedian’s newest tour, Hobo Fabulous, on October 21.

A timeless epic at its pinnacle, the whole family will enjoy the story of Princess Aurora set to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score from October 24-27.

The 13thand final ScreamFest is on in the Grandstand building at Stampede Park. Come out to get spooked with haunted houses, rides, escape rooms, and more until October 31.

Grammy-nominated trio I’m With Her set to play first show in Calgary


From left to right: band members Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan and Sara Watkins. Courtesy I’m With Her/Concord Music Group.

With their soothing harmonies, heartfelt lyrics and dynamic performance style, the all-female group I’m With Her is an exercise in defying genre.

The trio that makes up the band – singer-songwriters Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan – have their roots in folk music, and also evoke touches of country, jazz and bluegrass. Described by the New York Times as having a tone “that could be sweetly ethereal… or as hearty as mountain gospel,” the 2018 Grammy nominees for best group are taking the stage for the first time together in Calgary after a series of shows in Western Canada.

Each band member has garnered critical acclaim and collected Grammys in both individual and group pursuits. In 2002, Watkins sang on the collaboration This Side, which was later awarded best contemporary folk album. O’Donovan was a part of the Grammy-winning 2013 album The Goat Rodeo Sessions, which featured talents like Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma. Just last year, Jarosz’s Undercurrent collected the title of best folk album.

Although they’ve known each other for over a decade, this is the first time they’ve formally toured together. O’Donovan has played in Calgary before, at the Calgary Folk Music Festival. She notes how I’m With Her have a particular affinity for festivals – they all met at one, and decided to form their band at one.

“I think there’s a great sense of community that we all kind of grew up with and had at festivals,” she says.

While the band name may conjure thoughts of the language used in the current #MeToo movement, O’Donovan said it predates that.

“It’s a nod to the camaraderie we feel as a trio and as a band… it was an all-for-one, one-for-all type of mentality,” she says. “We all really respect each other, and there’s a great deal of admiration and confidence in each other that I think is really special and really rare, and that’s what I’m With Her means to us.”

The trio’s latest album See You Around has been well received critically, and O’Donovan says the live shows have given them a chance to exercise different muscles when it comes to how they perform the tracks.

“The songs on See You Around have evolved this year and it’s been really fun to play them live night after night and sort of keep on finding new ways to express ourselves,” she says.

But the thing that has remained constant is the special relationship they’re able to establish with the audience. “I think one of the things that makes acoustic and folk music so appealing to an audience is the intimacy,” O’Donovan explains. “I just saw Paul Simon a couple of days ago (with band mate Sarah Jarosz) at Madison Square Garden, and at its core it felt like a folk concert. He’s up there with a 16-piece band, but we felt like we were just at a folk club, listening to what it felt like for people who saw Paul Simon back in the ‘60s.”

Though O’Donovan says the band has a wide range of influences, she names Simon and Joni Mitchell as two of her biggest. When it comes to the future of I’m With Her, she says the main goal is simple: to continue to create together, write music, and keep performing with the same passion and excitement.

I’m With Her will be on stage at the Jack Singer concert hall on October 2 at 7:30 pm.

Hot Art Round-Up: Sep 27 – 30



Opening Reception Lyndal Osborne: Mutation of the Commons
University of Calgary, Nickle Galleries: 5 – 8 pm

Amy Gaulin: Landscapes at The New Edward Gallery
New Edward Gallery, opening reception 7 – 10 pm



2018 Alberta Culture Days at cSPACE – September 28-29
cSPACE King Edward, Friday 11 am – 8 pm, Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

Stride Art Gallery Casino Fundraiser
Elbow River Casino, September 28 – 29, 11 am – midnight

Alberta Culture Days, Blackboard Gallery
cSPACE: Friday 11 am – 5 pm, Saturday noon – 5 pm

Alberta Culture Days, ACAD
September 28 – 30, various times

Dispatches From the Wrong Side of History
Boutique Gallery, NVRLND.YYC: opening reception 3 – 9 pm

Open Studio with Kaitlynn Copithorne
cSPACE: 4 – 8 pm

Unpacking IKG: 60 Years a Gallery
ACAD, Illingworth Kerr Gallery, 5 – 8 pm

Etsy: Made in Canada – Calgary
Genesis Centre, Friday 5 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

Studio M* Open House
September 28 – October 2, various hours and events

CAAF Connection: Studio Residents’ Exhibition
cSPACE, Calgary Allied Arts Foundation: 6 – 8 pm

Laura Hansen – The Sounding
ACAD, Marion Nicoll Gallery, 6 – 8 pm

Searchlight – Closing Reception for Brandon Hearty & Chris Zajko
The Bridge Inc, 7 – 9 pm

Launch Party
Glenbow Museum, 7:30 – 10 pm



Farmers & Makers Market Alberta Culture Days & Dandy Beer Garden
cSPACE King Edward, 10 am – 5 pm

Escape to Art – Calgary
Upland’s Recreation Center, 10 am – 5 pm

Centre Street Lion Community Welcome
Rotary Park, 11 am – 2 pm

Print It Yourself Festival
Alberta Printmakers, 11 am – 4 pm

Mural Reception
Arts Commons, noon -2 pm

Ripple Effect Public Reception
Leighton Art Centre, 2 – 4 pm

Bee Kingdom September Glass Sale
Bee Kingdom: Saturday and Sunday noon – 5 pm

Culture Shock Vol. 4: An Urban Arts Showcase and Breaking Event
Genesis Centre, Antyx Community Arts: 2 – 9 pm 

Kevin Day / feedback loop of commensurability
The New Gallery, 8 pm – midnight



What a relief! Steamroller Printmaking Event
Prairie Dog Brewing, Alberta Printmakers: 11 am – 7 pm

Utility Box Biking Tour
Calgary Marlborough Community Association, 2 – 5 pm

Making Treaty 7 is reclaiming history one performance at a time


Courtesy Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society.

As a child, Justin Manyfingers watched his grandparents make berry soup. When I met him, he had just attempted his first batch. “There’s a certain technique used to boil [the berries]”, says Manyfingers, which can be Saskatoon berries or whatever is local to the maker. “Usually you make it in a ceremony.”

The ceremony at hand is Manyfingers’ own  – one to induct him as the new artistic director for Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society, a role he fills at a time of change, expansion and inspiration for the organization. Launched in 2012 by founders Michael Green and Narcisse Blood, the society seeks to tell the history of what happened during the signing of Treaty 7 at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877, and how the impacts of this event manifest today through performance art.

Remembering how to make berry soup ten years after watching his grandparents make it is a testament to the Blackfoot oral tradition; a cornerstone of the culture that is also central to Making Treaty 7’s operations. Understanding that the history of the signing of Treaty 7 had not been told from an Indigenous perspective, and that much of this history was not written down, Green and Blood developed a unique storytelling methodology centered around oral historical storytelling.

“Most productions begin with a script, and then actors and directors go from that script – that’s not how we work,” says Ollie Siska, managing director at Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society. “We put experts, elders and the artists together in a residency and it’s basically a conversation that goes on for days where stories are told and [where] traditional oral history that’s not recorded anywhere is talked about.”

Manyfingers was a part of this process for Making Treaty 7’s first show, which premiered in 2013. Now, he has co-written and directed of a new version of that original production, KAAHSINNONIKS ‘Our Ancestors’, which will be performed at the Jubilee Auditorium on October 3 and 4.

“The goal with this production is that we are still able to give as much information but through more of an artistic lens, where the works in the past had been very presentational,” says Manyfingers. He also notes that the production has been narrowed down to 65 minutes from 12 hours of raw material. “There’s still probably at least 500 years of stories that you could turn into theatre from that [first] show.”

The second production scheduled for this fall, KIIKTISTINNONIKS ‘Our Mothers’, tells the history of the women’s role in the signing of Treaty 7, and how that is linked to present day crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The fully female led and created show aims to depict how women have always been the backbone of Blackfoot culture, contrary to colonial portrayals.

“The professors and the researchers and the people who wrote the books about us, they didn’t want to hear the women’s stories, they wanted to hear the men – the chief, the warrior, the savage, you know, with the western masculinity,” says Manyfingers. “This [production] looks at First Nations, Metis and Inuit women, but it gets more focused into Calgary – it gets more focused into Treaty 7. Even though it is a national voice, it gives so much context to where we live in and what we live in.”

Manyfingers notes that Making Treaty 7 productions and the methodology used to create them has already started to inspire other Treaty nations to tell their own stories through performance art. The shows also have proved to fill a gap in public school curriculum. “When we’re at the jubilee we do matinees for schools only – we basically invite all the CBE schools and all the nation’s schools, so we’ll have 5000 kids coming,” explains Siska. “They fill up every time because there’s such a lack of education. Teachers absolutely love this for discussion purposes – it’s a really important aspect to breach the youth.”

As far as Making Treaty 7’s productions’ role in the Truth and Reconciliation movement, Manyfingers says that they embody every aspect of it. “It’s not even really about getting along, it’s just about understanding each other. I don’t really care if you don’t get along but at least have respect. Without respect you don’t have relations and that is what we’re putting into everything, or trying to push for.”

Calgary’s 9th art Biennial aims to engage audiences of all kinds


The diverse, cutting-edge performative festival known as the art Biennial is entering its third week, with tons more planned until its conclusion on October 7th. Where Calgary asked Desiree Nault, Artistic Director of the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival Society (M:ST), the group that hosts the event, what’s new and exciting about the 9th Biennial in Calgary.

Courtesy Didier Morelli.

How is this 9th Biennial different than those before it? In this iteration of the biennial we have focused our energy on supporting the creation of new artworks by visiting national and international artists in the form of residencies. The Toronto-based collective Life of a Craphead (the group responsible for the Entertaining Every Second exhibit in early September)will be staying on for the next month doing research in Calgary. The National Music Centre has welcomed Suzanne Kite and Nathan Young for a one-week residency to experiment with the NMC’s collection, and internationally renowned Jin-me Yoon is staying on for two weeks after the biennial to do site visits in and around Tsuu T’ina Nation with the support of local artists Terrance Houle and Seth Dodginghorse.

We were very happy to add the National Music Centre to the list (of partners) this year. New additions also include local outreach organizations HIV Community Link and The Alex Community Food Centre who are helping us present Disclosure Cookbook, an artwork by Mikiki and Jordan Arseneault. This artwork involves making extravagant dinners with people who are HIV positive, and digitally publishing anonymous quotes culled from the dinner conversation in order to question existing HIV stigma and criminalization.

Could you tell our readers a bit more about some of the artists performing at the Biennial and the topics they will seek to explore? Many of the artists take on or challenge settler colonialism, the affective or invisible power of politics over the human body, and the responsibility that comes with inherited histories and familial trauma.

Suzanne Kite and Nathan Young are recording noise from local power stations in order to map and listen to the land. During the live performance they use a variety of instruments and wearable interfaces to weave these sounds into music and visuals. This process is driven by their interest in the divergences in Western and Native American ways of understanding truth.

Adriana Disman and Steve Roggenbuck both perform in the evening on Saturday October 6, and have very different methods for dealing with contemporary politics. In her performance, Adriana Disman investigates the daily invisible violences that are the result of living within large and common systems of power, and the individual unspectacular suffering that results. Roggenbuck is an American poet who became well known on YouTube about five years ago for reading what I would call love poems. He uses pop-culture and language that is common on the internet, that may be over used and commodified, but filters it through his own funny, spontaneous, adoration for the world in a way that feels newly meaningful.

What are you the most excited about for this Biennial in particular? I am very excited about some of the projects that require registration. It takes a bit of extra work to e-mail us and say that you’d like to be involved, but well worth it because of the opportunity to be directly involved in the artist’s process, and in some cases, like Disclosure Cookbook, to even co-author the work. As an example, Jin-me Yoon will be holding two workshops where participants will enter a solitary sensory deprivation tank for 90 minutes at FloatLife, and then will come together over tea to have a facilitated conversation with Jin-me on subjects concerning colonialism.

Meanwhile at Theatre Junction Grand, Emma-Kate will lead the performance workshop possible performance. This will be a meaningful experience for any artist who is interested in performance or the body as it deals with ‘impossibility.’ The workshop asks the question, how does your body react when it encounters actions that are not possible or futile? Can the body create new meaning or futures, even if we don’t yet have the language to identify them?

How does the Biennial serve to bring together the Calgary arts community? I can’t not include that my heart beats faster when I think about all of these incredible minds: academics, artists, performers and our amazing staff, volunteers and board members getting together and sharing their experience. Performance art can seem like a very niche discipline, but it is not really, everyone has a thinking/feeling brain and body that wants to be activated by lived experience.

M:ST seeks to really dive into the works presented at the biennial and we do a lot to make this happen. This year we are working with some very generous faculty at the Alberta College of Art + Design to present the symposium Tempaurality, which unpacks the theme of listening as it occurs in the Biennial.

We also do our best to make our programming as welcoming as possible, free, presented in accessible spaces, and wherever possible have non-gendered washrooms. Our online texts for this biennial are also published in French and English.

What does the Biennial mean for the future of performative art in the city and across the province? This is a great question. I am really interested in the unseen, the experiences in art that are private. I don’t know how to survive the hyper consumption and reflexive culture that I am a part of without saving space for intimacy, privacy, and the potential for co-authorship. Audiences of M:ST have agency in their viewing experience and sometimes even in the artwork itself. This is not uncharacteristic of performative art, but it is uncharacteristic in the face of spectacle.

3 new must-have books from Calgary writers


Courtesy Haley MacLeod.

ROOM 5608 
In February 2016, singer/songwriter Jessie J reposted a poem from Calgary writer Haley MacLeod on Instagram. MacLeod was woken at 2 am thanks to multiple messages from friends asking if she saw the post from one of her favourite singers. The post got more than 28,000 likes and hundreds of positive comments, which MacLeod says was a confirmation that sharing her poetry with others is her calling. At the time she was well underway in writing her debut poetry book, Room 5608, which she self-published this spring. It’s 100 per cent her vision, from the poetry to the formatting and book design. She says the book was a major part of helping her cope with the trauma, grief and depression she went through at a young age.

“I lost my father to addiction and suicide,” MacLeod says. “That was a defining moment in my life where I realized I needed to use my voice to shed light on the conversations and feelings most people shy away from.”

She says she never had grand dreams of being a poet: “Poetry found me. She gave me a pen and told me, ‘Write until the pain brings you back home to yourself.’ For five years I wrote everyday, nine hours a day, until Room 5608 came into fruition. I’m sure every Starbucks in this city knows what I drink.” The poems follow a free verse and minimalistic style, and touch on heartbreak, grief, mental illness and recovery, with the goal of bringing healing to herself and the people around her. Room 5608 is available at Pages on Kensington, Shelf Life Books on 4th Street SW, select Chapters/Indigo locations and through Amazon.

Courtesy Touchwood Editions.

In the summer of 2017, Karen Anderson and Matilde Sanchez-Turri travelled around the province to compile a snapshot of Alberta’s diverse culinary scene. The result is Food Artisans of Alberta, a helpful travel guide that shines a spotlight on the province’s locally crafted fare. The book includes profiles of the Alberta’s food artisans — farmers, ranchers, brewers, cheesemakers and more — along with recommended farmers’ markets and watering holes to visit. In the Calgary section, you’ll read about some of the people behind Charcut, River Café, Rouge and others who elevate Alberta’s food scene and reputation. Find it at Shelf Life Books, Pages, Owl’s Nest in Britannia Plaza, and Chapters/Indigo locations around the city.

Courtesy Freehand Books.

Independent publisher Freehand Books is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, and The Figgs marks their 50th book! In this funny and endearing story written by Calgary-based author Ali Bryan, the Figg family navigates rebellious teens, unexpected pregnancy, aging, adoption and more with humour, wit and (occasional) grace. The memorable characters and non-stop shenanigans keep the pages turning. Pick up a copy at Shelf Life Books, Owl’s Nest Books, and Chapters/Indigo locations in Calgary.

From bubble tea to ramen: 3 must-try eats in YYC


Courtesy Pixabay.

The Japanese capital boats some of the best cuisine in the world, and trendy Tokyo Street Market is committed to bringing that atmosphere and flavour home to Calgary. With a menu of “fresh-fast food” like ramen, yakitori and takoyaki, it’s designed for those looking to grab a quick lunch, or throw back some beer or sake after work. The space is also family friendly.

Courtesy Burwood Distillery.

There’s a little jewel tucked away in northeast Calgary where you can sit at the bar and sample small-batch spirits while watching the distillery at work in the next room. Burwood Distillery lovingly crafts gin, vodka, honey eau de vie and medica (an incredible eastern European honey liqueur) and is now offering a menu that perfectly complements their hand-crafted beverages. Pair the vodka with their house pickles and gin-cured salmon, or try the honey eau de vie with charbroiled octopus and prawns, and polish it off with medica trifle topped with vodka-macerated berries. Don’t forget to take a bottle home — Burwood’s spirits are also available in local shops and Alberta-wide at Co-op Wine & Spirits and Sobeys Liquor.

If you need more bubble tea in your life, Presotea has you covered. Located on 17th Avenue, this new tea time hangout is exclusive to Calgary as the only location in Alberta. The Taiwanese chain uses espresso machine technology to press each cup of tea, maximizing the flavour. Choose from an array of milk tea and fruit slush before customizing your drink by choosing the temperature, sweetness, and toppings such as panda pearls or basil seeds. There are tons of options that allow you to find your perfect combo, though you may need to conduct a few experiments.

Book of Mormon Returns to Edmonton

Photo by Joan Marcus.

Photo by Joan Marcus.

The hilarious hit musical is back in Edmonton! Dubbed “the best musical of the century”, by The New York Times, this show from the creators of South Park follows the adventures of two Mormon missionaries who are sent to a remote Ugandan village to spread the Good Word.

Their attempt to share the scriptures meets resistance from locals who are more concerned with famine and oppression, so the young men decide to get creative. For as much as it may offend some attendees with vulgar moments, the show also offers some heartwarming lessons about believing in yourself and achieving your dreams.

Buy your tickets through Ticketmaster today!

Book of Mormon | September 18 – 23
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 1-855-985-5000


Hot Art Round-Up: Sep 13 – 15



Jackie Anderson: What Comes Around Reception
cSPACE: Blackboard Gallery, 5 – 8 pm

Tyler Bright Hilton: Minmei Madelynne Pryor on the Trail of a Liar
VIVIANEART, 6 – 9 pm

Hack It | Adults Only Night
TELUS Spark 6 – 10 pm



Inglewood Night Market
Inglewood, 5 – 11 pm

Jeff Nachtigall / Peripatetic Allegories
Jarvis Hall Gallery, 5 – 8 pm

Lisa Brawn Mumsho
Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, 5 – 9 pm and 2 – 5 pm (Saturday)

Laura Peturson – Wasteland/Wanderland
Alberta Printmakers, 7 – 9 pm

Wnoondwaamin – we hear them
Stride Gallery, 8 pm – midnight



Farmers & Makers Market at cSPACE
cSPACE, 10 am – 3 pm

Calgary ArtWalk Festival 2018
Saturday and Sunday, hours dependent on location

Calgary Artwalk and the Webster Galleries Grand Re-Opening
Webster Galleries, 10 am – 6 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

East Side Studio Crawl
Burns Visual Arts Society, 11 am – 5 pm

Open House & Pottery Sale – East Side Studio Crawl
Workshop Studios, 11 am – 5 pm

Out of the Studio: ArtWalk 2018 at Masters Gallery
Masters Gallery, 11 am – 4 pm

Art Therapy
Imageseekers Urban Concept Gallery, 11 am – 4 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Guided ArtWalk tour with Art Proctor
Esker Foundation, 11:45 am – 4:30 pm

Ulrich Panzer : Frequencies
Christine Klassen Gallery, 1 – 4 pm

Unveiling: New Manhole Cover Art Celebration
Prince’s Island Park, 1 – 5 pm

Scot Bullick & Joan Dunkley: New Order
The Edge Gallery, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Jesse Stilwell
Paul Kuhn Gallery, 2 – 5 pm

Fall Exhibitions Opening! Bradley Harms and Samantha Walrod
Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2 – 4 pm

Apik Art Gallery: 35th annual ART WALK
Apik Art Gallery, 5 pm –

Inglewood Night Market
Inglewood, 5 – 11 pm

Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo

Photo courtesy Edmonton Expo

Get your geek on and celebrate sci-fi, comics, fantasy, and more at Edmonton’s biggest pop culture convention. Shop vendors from around the country, watch cosplay contests, attend panels and workshops, grab a drawing from your favourite comic book artist, and meet the creators and stars of your favourite films, TV shows, and comics. This year’s special guests include Doctor Who’s David Tennant and Matt Smith, Michaela Conlin and TJ Thyne of Bones, and Star Trek’s Karl Urban—to name just a few! Edmonton EXPO Centre, $20 day pass or $70 weekend pass; visit the Edmonton Expo website for more event information and photo-op opportunities.

Historic King Eddy returns to Calgary Music Mile


Photo courtesy Glenbow Archives.

When Ellen McIlwaine first started playing Calgary’s “home of the blues” in 1982, it was packed full of low-hanging cigarette smoke, melodic chords and a crowd dancing just a few feet from her guitar.

She started coming to the historic King Edward Hotel while travelling through a North American blues circuit. Originally based in the U.S., she never missed a chance to stop in, and eventually relocated to Calgary in the early ’90s. On an average Saturday, she’d host the jam at the King Edward Hotel all afternoon and then play three sets into the night. Looking back, she laughs and says the crowd was always a “mixed bag” — from bikers to police to blue collar to white collar.

“Everyone was there,” she says. “And everyone was there because of the music.”

The venue affectionately called the King Eddy closed its doors in 2004 after falling into disrepair, and soon faced demolition. But Calgary’s National Music Centre opted to restore the building in 2008 — taking it apart and rebuilding the exterior brick-by-brick — officially reopening the live music venue on July 20, 2018. That weekend, McIlwaine took the stage in front of a buzzing crowd once again at her old stomping grounds.

Photo by Brenna Pladsen.

The newly rejuvenated King Eddy is now the western pillar of Calgary’s new music district: the Music Mile.

Stretching all the way from the King Eddy to The Blues Can along 9th Avenue, the Music Mile Society is a non-profit collective of venues, businesses and organizations working to bring more live music to the city. There’s a minimum of 25 live shows along the mile every weekend, with many found in unexpected places like Charbar and The Nash.

“Think of it like the python that swallows the pig,” laughs Music Mile organizer Meg Van Rosendaal. “The spine of the mile is along 9th Avenue, but it spreads out on both sides into Inglewood and East Village. What gives the Music Mile the chance to be something wonderful is that it connects two neighbourhoods — it’s not just one attraction, it creates a destination.”

With beloved venues like The Blues Can, Ironwood and Festival Hall already in the area, as well as the promise of the King Eddy returning, Van Rosendaal says the area was already a music mile, “but it didn’t have a name.” So, along with musician and friend Bob Chartier, she helped put together a steering committee and officially launched the Music Mile Society in January 2016.

The launch coincided with the opening of Studio Bell’s National Music Centre’s (NMC) new location built around the King Eddy. Andrew Mosker, president of the NMC, says “the history and the lore” of the King Eddy was what drove them to build around it, essentially making it the biggest piece of their collection. Members of the Music Mile Society reached out to Mosker early on to join the grassroots initiative, and he said the NMC immediately jumped at supporting the cause.

“For Calgary, it’s important for us as a community to support local artists,” adds Mosker. “Venues are closing all over Canada, so we want everyone along the Music Mile to benefit from having more venues to (create) a destination. I think that’s what’s going to make Calgary a real music city.”

Calgary music venues have seen multiple closures over the past year, such as downtown’s Nite Owl. Chartier, known as the “Mayor” of the Music Mile Society, says that many other venues are struggling, and added that their initiative is to foster a creative community.

“We’re here to support venues and artists,” he says. “What we want to do with the Mile is make live music sustainable in Calgary.”

After Chartier retired in 2014, he went on a musical pilgrimage through the States where he says he fell in love with music cities. From Austin to New Orleans to Memphis to Nashville, he returned home craving a musical hub. He and Van Rosendaal walked along 9th Avenue shortly after his return, and says the impetus of the Music Mile Society blossomed.

They talked to businesses along the strip, and found an “overwhelmingly” enthusiastic response. Before long, even retail businesses were embracing the title by hanging guitars up in their windows, while cafés and restaurants launched open mic nights.

Before the Music Mile Society was even fully created, Chartier, Van Rosendaal and their team held meetings with the community to test the waters. Kate Stevens was only 15 years old when she went to the first meeting. At the time, all the venues along the mile were 18+, which meant no youth could perform or experience live music. So she stood up in the meeting and asked what could be done for underage musicians.

“They said, ‘I don’t know, what do you think?’” she laughs. A year later, she was a part of launching a youth organization with the society called the Youth Musicians of Music Mile Alliance (YO MOMMA).

“It’s a community,” she says. “It’s nurtured so many young artists over the past two years and launched so many careers.”

Now at 18, Stevens has been nominated for the Female Artist of the Year for the YYCMusicAwards and has spurred youth nights at venues like The Blues Can. She also played in front of an audience of more than 2,000 people at the NMC this spring.

Chartier says the Music Mile Society is just starting, but if they can continue to foster talent and bring in the next generation of artists, the mission will be a success.

“If one of my grandkids said to their friend, ‘Let’s go down to the Music Mile and see what’s happening,’ I’ll feel pretty good about that,” he says. “That’s the thing I think about the most in terms of the work that we’ve done — if our grandkids and the next generation see it as we imagined.”

As a venue, the King Eddy now plays more than just the blues, but Mosker says the spirit of bringing people together through music remains the same.

“It had to reflect Canada’s music,” Mosker says. “Very few audiences nowadays listen to just one type of music, so we wanted to tap into that history of bringing so many walks of life together. Even though it doesn’t look how it did when it was built in 1905, people still feel the spirit of the King Eddy. You don’t lose history like that, you just build on it.”

And that sentiment rings true to McIlwaine, as she recalls taking up her old post during the July launch.

“It felt really good to be back up there again,” she says. “It was packed, just like it always was, so the band went to town. It’s so wonderful that they restored the Eddy and kept the tradition going. The audience felt like a bunch of old friends.”