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edmonton events

Best Spots to Shop for Books in Edmonton

Photo from wce.wwu.edu

With LitFest: Edmonton’s Annual NonFiction Festival (the only NonFiction book festival in Canada, I might add!) taking place October 16 – 17, 2013, what better time is there than to pick up some new reading material and explore some of Edmonton’s book shops and literary talent? You’ll find great reads in some unique places!

Be sure to check out daily LitFest events, including headliner Dan Savage on Monday, October 21, 2013. The provocative, progressive relationship “Savage Love” columnist and “It Gets Better” campaign creator speaks at the Winspear Centre; tickets must be purchased in advance at www.winspearcentre.com. A complete schedule of LitFest events can be viewed at www.litfestalberta.com.


Edmonton Home and Interior Design Show: Tips with Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot

Photo courtesy Milner, W Network

Photo courtesy Milner, W Network

Perhaps you’ve finally decided to tackle that big renovation project you’ve been putting off, or maybe you’re wanting to freshen up a space in your home. Whatever the case, the Edmonton Home and Interior Design Show October 4 – 6 at the Edmonton Expo Centre, is the perfect event to find what you need to follow through with your plans for building, renovating, or changing up your home and garden decor. A wide variety of products, services, and contractors will be available, and there will be design presentations from industry experts, including real estate investor and contractor Scott McGillivray from HGTV’s Income Property.

Not sure where to begin your renovation plans? Get inspiration from interior designer Jillian Harris and real estate guru Tim Talbot, the hosts of W Network’s Love It or List it Vancouver whose second season premiered in September 2013. “Viewers will see more of my involvement in the design process than last year, and the show has a more natural, organic feeling to it, ” Harris says. “I’d say the second season is a lot more engaging for the average viewer to watch.” Jillian and Todd will also be appearing at the Calgary Home and Design Show, September 19 – 22 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, AB.

“You spend most of your time in your home,” Talbot says, “so you want to make the space a place that you love and that you want to come home to, where you actually enjoy spending time.” So, when should you renovate and when should you sell and start over? Though the two compete on the show, they say the concept is really about considering options for obtaining a place you love and that both strategies are good ones, just appropriate at different times. “Some people just have an attachment to their homes or community and do not want to move,” Jillian says, “and in that case you have to make your home work for you; renovations can help you achieve the look you want. Other times people are just over their home or want to upgrade, and in that case it’s just better to sell and look for something new.” Talbot adds that travel time between work and home should be a factor: “If you don’t like having a long commute, then no renovation project is going to change that. Likewise, if you bought your home thinking you would have a family of four and then you ultimately have a family of six, suddenly you have a square footage issue and it just makes more sense to sell and move than to renovate.”

Here are some of Jillian and Todd’s tips for tackling home renovations to keep in mind while you’re at the Home and Interior Design Show:

1. Plan: Harris says that people put off renovations – even small projects like hanging up artwork – because they haven’t planned out the overall look they are trying to accomplish and get deterred from starting, to the point where numerous projects pile up. “There are so many great resources for design inspiration like Pinterest and home design television shows,” “Jillian says. “Use these to get a vision and decide on the exact look you’re trying to achieve, so when you start to invest in changes and updates, everything you buy will contribute towards that ‘look’. Don’t just go to Home Depot and try to decide on paint colours there”.

2. Make Good Renovation Investments: Harris cautions people to avoid trends in colours, and suggests you can’t go wrong with sticking to neutral colours and pastels: “When I first got into design, I would use orange and green paint all the time,” Harris laughs, “and now I think white and cream are the most awesome colours. They give any room a classic look, and won’t become outdated. Stick to simple styles for structural elements – walls, cupboards, countertops, flooring – and have fun with room accents like artwork, pillows, and curtains, that you can change easily and more cheaply.” Talbot adds that when you are trying to sell your home, you want to appeal to the greatest number of buyers, and using bold coloured paint or wallpaper might deter some people. He agrees with Harris that structural elements should be kept simple, and people can have fun with decor, art, and furniture to spruce up a room. “That said,” Harris adds, “you’re trying to create a space that will make your heart tick, you’re not trying to win a design award. So if you’re a wild and crazy person, go for it: express those traits in your design.”

3. Quick/Inexpensive Design Tips: If you don’t have the money to do a complete home renovation, Harris and Talbot suggest tackling some small projects can make a big difference. “Kitchen or bathroom renovations can be very expensive; painting is a relatively inexpensive project – especially if you do it yourself – that completely refreshes a space and makes it seem more updated and modern,” Talbot says. “Investing in storage solutions and organizing your clutter is a good way to make a room look sleeker,” Jillian adds. If you can afford one big project but aren’t sure where to invest your money, Talbot recommends buying good quality (moderate to high priced) hardwood – not laminate – flooring. “The first thing people notice when shopping for a new home is the flooring,” Talbot advises, “so not only will it update the look of your space but it will eventually yield a high return on investment. Get rid of carpet! Get rid of cracked, stained linoleum.” If you are looking to sell your home and don’t want to put a lot of money in to renovating it, Jillian says that the look of a space can be improved immensely by simple fixes like cleaning and removing clutter and personal artefacts from a space before showing your home. “People underestimate the power of cleaning products and dusting!” Jillian exclaims. “And potential buyers want to imagine themselves in the new space, which is easiest with an open, fairly empty space.”

4. Return on Investment: If you want to renovate your home but know that you are likely to eventually sell it, Talbot suggests spending your money on kitchen and bathroom renovations. He says these are two rooms which get noticed first by new buyers, and any renovations here will certainly increase the value of the home. 5. Don’t Get Discouraged: Harris indicated that it takes about six weeks to complete a home renovation on Love It or List It, but that all of the projects done each episode would typically take about six months to complete: “we work with a huge team of contractors, builders, and designers to really blitz the project for ‘TV time’, and so we have more people involved than you typically would if you were doing home renovations on your own”. Thus, don’t get discouraged if your renovation projects are taking awhile to complete – if you’re planning on living in your home for a long time, the time invested in turning it into a pleasant space will be well worth it!

The Edmonton Home and Interior Design Show is October 4 (2pm – 9pm), 5 (10am – 8pm) and 6 (10 am – 5 pm) at the Edmonton Expo Centre (7515 116 Ave.) Adult $12; Senior/Student $10; Children 12 and under are free.

Watch Jillian and Todd host Love It or List It Vancouver on W Network, Wednesdays at 10 pm EST/PST. 

Edmonton Fall Theatre Guide

The stage has been set for another great theatre season! From provocative, edge-of-your seat dramas to rolling-in-the-aisles comedies, Edmonton’s diverse theatre scene has something for everyone.

The cast of Die-Nasty: An Improvised Soap Opera

The cast of Die-Nasty: An Improvised Soap Opera

Varscona Theatre

September 13 – 15
To preview the return of Edmonton’s legendary Die-Nasty improvised soap opera show, this marathon 50-hour long show features continuous improv performances from cast members (most of them going without sleep!) for an entire weekend. You can come-and-go throughout the performance, though you can bet things get the most zany around the wee hours of the morning!

Whiplash Weekend
October 10 – 20
What do an award winning swimmer, a race car driver, and a serial divorcee have in common? They’re all characters in this hilarious situational comedy! Set in 1966, this play depicts the antics, misguided romantic pursuits, and vengeful plots that unfold during an unforgettable weekend in Cape Cod. Presented by Teatro La Quindicina.

Mayfield Dinner Theatre

A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline
September 6 – November 3
This musical tribute follows the career of Patsy Cline, one of the biggest legends of country music, from her humble beginnings in small town Virginia to the big time playing Carnegie Hall in New York. Featuring 20 of her biggest hits including “Crazy”, “Walkin’ After Midnight”, and “Sweet Dreams”, this story of a powerful woman with an unforgettable voice is a delight for audiences of all ages.

A Conversation with Van Wilmott, Artistic Director at Mayfield Theatre

Where Edmonton (WE): What is your vision for the production of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline?

Van Wilmott (VW): To make it as good of a production as it can be. It has all the prerequisites of a great show. Great music, and a good book.

WE: How are you making it accessible for those who might be unfamiliar with her story or her music?

VW: The show is very accessible. If an audience member is not familiar with the bulk of the material that is being presented in the show, they are in for a real treat. The music is bright and catchy with a  lot of tap along kinds of songs, and of course she has the huge hit “Crazy” maybe one of the greatest popular songs of all time!!

WE: What about the show do you think will most intrigue fans of Patsy Cline who have already heard her music and her story?

VW: If on the other hand you are a Patsy fan, you will know every song and will just sit back  and be amazed at how well Sarah Jeanne  Hosie delivers them. That’s no easy task. Patsy Cline has one of the greatest voices ever recorded, and Sara Jeanne nails it !The show is also very well balanced with comedy, resting in the very capable hands of the character Little Big Man, played by the equally amazing Sheldon Bergstrom. The combination of the two make for a great night out!

WE: Do you have a particular favourite song/number in the show?

VW: As far as a favourite song,Im going to have to go with “Crazy”. They just don’t get much better than that!

WE: This year’s lineup of shows features comedy, drama, and musicals. What do you think all good theatre presentations should strive to do well, regardless of genre? What do you keep in mind regardless of whether you’re directing a drama, comedy, musical, etc?

VW: Telling a good story. Every good play of any genre does that. It is our job to make sure that the  production is engaging and entertaining. The audience needs to be invested in it. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a comedy, tragedy, musical  or drama, it comes down to good story telling. It’s very important to get the right people involved. Every production is a different animal , and requires an ensemble with a variety of talents, whether they are actors or designers, directors, or musicians. It’s a bit of a job to get that sorted out at the beginning but it’s a huge step into getting it right!

Citadel Theatre

Long Day’s Journey Into Night
September 21 – October 13
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Eugene O’Neill, this moving, emotional play explores the day in a life of a dysfunctional family affected by addiction, resent, and loss.

Daisy Theatre
September 28 – November 17
Originally performed at Toronto’s renowned annual Luminato Festival, this cabaret-style theatre show blends improv, variety acts, music, monologues, short plays — and puppets! Inspired by underground theatre “daisy” puppet shows that were performed in secret during World War II, the mostly-improvised show means that not two performances will be the same — yet they will all be hilarious, a little bit ridiculous, and a lot of fun.

2 Pianos 4 Hands
October 26 – November 17
This hilariously silly musical comedy details the story of two young boys working towards concert pianist stardom. It has been performed 4,000 times around the world since 1996, and now the shows original stars Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt are back to perform in the farewell tour.

A Conversation with Bob Baker, Artistic Director at Citadel Theatre

Where Edmonton (WE):  The 2013-14 season includes a wide variety of themes and genres. What do you think is one thing that all good theatre presentations should strive to do well, regardless of genre? What do you keep in mind regardless of whether you’re directing a drama, comedy, musical, etc?

Bob Baker (BB): No matter what genre or style of play (comedy, drama, musical, classical, contemporary), it is essential that the play connects with an audience on an emotional level. Everything has relevance if it is truthful. The audience comes to see a story and to see themselves reflected from the stage. If the actors have integrity and emotional honesty, the audience will care about their characters, engage in their journey and experience a variety of emotions.

WE: In regards to the first play of the season, Long Day’s Journey Into Night: This play has won prestigious Tony and Pulitizer awards for excellence in writing and performance. What about this makes it easier and/or more difficult to direct — how do you preserve what is perhaps inherently excellent about the play while still allowing room to make it your own unique adaptation?

BB: Our job is to bring life to the playwright’s vision. Initially, it is daunting to take on a Great Masterwork because of its history and massive preconceptions. But these plays are great because the author, with great skill and humanity, has told a compelling story and created emotionally and psychologically complex characters. If we, the interpreters, passionately commit ourselves to truth and honesty in portraying these characters, we will have created a unique and relevant experience.

Jubilations Dinner Theatre

Best of Friends Reunion
September 1 – October 27
What if Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross — the characters from the beloved TV show Friends — reunited, 10 years after their show ended? Set to hit songs from the 1990s, this fun musical is your chance to catch up with the gang!

In the time since we last saw six of our favourite “Friends,” Monica’s decided to buy Central Perk and turn it into a restaurant, Joey and Phoebe are married (or so they say), and Rachel is not convinced Ross is putting his best effort into the relationship. The humour characteristic of the popular 90s sitcom is revived in this musical with “flashback” re-creations of classic Friends moments (including the time Monica and Rachel lose their apartment), new silly shenanigans, and plenty of catchy 90s songs (I was hoping to hear a Spice Girls number and, to my delight, there were two!) Dinner is served one course at a time, starting with soup, salad, and bread, followed by a choice of one of four entrees, and finishing with dessert. You may recognize some “friends” wandering around the dining area before the show begins; don’t be surprised if Rachel wants to gossip about Monica, or if Joey attempts to get your phone number. The actual stage show takes place in between courses, which makes for a nicely paced evening of good food and entertainment. Fans of the series will enjoy how well the actors convey the mannerisms of the characters (they must have watched several episodes of the show in preparation; hard work!), and love the throwbacks to favourite episodes. If you weren’t familiar with the original sitcom, this show has a lot of situational humour and a lot of quirky, fun moments that can be enjoyed without further knowledge of the show.

Walterdale Playhouse

October 16 – 26
This lyrical adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel is provocative, whimsical, and chilling. The vengeful creatures in this story are definitely not the Twilight kind of vampires!


Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo: From Back to the Future to Walking Dead

“The Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo returns September 28-29, 2013 to the Edmonton Expo Centre to celebrate all things pop culture. Coming off a highly successful inaugural year in 2012, the second annual Edmonton Expo has expanded to over 150,000 sq.ft of exhibit space providing fans with triple the action.  With more space to explore over the two days fans can feed their inner geek with celebrity Q&A panels, autograph & photograph sessions, exhibitors, workshops, and more.”

Edmonton Expo 2

Courtesy Edmonton Expo

“We are proud to expand the exhibitor space almost three times as much as 2012, which enables us to provide the fans with what they want ­ more exceptional programming and a bigger outlet to explore their passions,” states Kandrix Foong, event director Edmonton Expo. “We feel privileged to be able to provide this opportunity for Edmonton fans to connect with their heroes and our special guests from hit shows like Arrow to Walking Dead.”

In 2013, over 50 programming events and over 300 vendors from industry artists, designers, retailers, and creators at the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo Centre will fill Halls E, F, G, and H of the Edmonton Expo Centre (7515 – 118 Ave.). Programming includes workshops, shop talks, industry insights, guest spotlight panels, and meet-and-greet photograph and autograph sessions with 15 media and celebrity guests. 20 industry guests (comic book creators, video game personalities, and more) will also be on-site to talk about new and current projects, industry career insights, and all things creative.

John Barrowman © BBC 2009

John Barrowman
© BBC 2009

Robert Englund as Fredddy Krueger Photo courtesy Edmonton Expo

Robert Englund as Fredddy Krueger
Photo courtesy Edmonton Expo

Q&A panels, autographs, and photo sessions will be available with celebrity guests, including:

·       JOHN BARROWMAN (Cpt. Jack Harkness in Doctor Who, Torchwood; Arrow)

·       ROBERT ENGLUND (Freddy Kruger in Nightmare on Elm Street)

·       JOE FLANIGAN (Lt. Colonel John Sheppard in Stargate Atlantis)

·       CHRISTOPHER LLOYD (Doc Brown in Back to the Future)

·       CHAD COLEMAN (Tyreese in Walking Dead)

·       SARAH WAYNE CALLIES (Laurie in Walking Dead)

·       JON HEDER (Napoleon Dynamite)

Visit edmontonexpo.com for a complete list of celebrity guests and industry vendors!

Tickets: Available in advance or at the door; tickets at the door are first-come, first-served and venue may reach capacity. Guests who pre-purchase tickets will be guaranteed admission. Cost: $20 in Advance; $35 Weekend Pass in Advance. $25 At the Door; $45 Weekend Pass at the Door. Tickets available online via Ticketmaster or by calling 1-855-985-5000.

Date: September 28-29, 2013; Saturday 10 am -7 pm; Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Location: Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515 – 118 Ave. NW Edmonton, AB. Easily accessible via Edmonton public transit by taking the LRT to Stadium Station.

Come Together: Paul McCartney Events in Edmonton

On November 28 and 29, Paul McCartney will become a part of Edmonton’s history with two sold-out shows at Rexall Place. Whether you were able to snag tickets to the show or not, fans of this legendary Beatle can “come together” and participate in some fun events happening around the city from November 26 – 29.

Paul McCartney will play two sold-out shows at Rexall Place November 28-29.
Photograph taken by Dustin Rabin

Walk Across Abbey Road
Where: 102A Avenue (Downtown)
When: November 26 – 29
About: The iconic London roadway featured on the cover of The Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road is being re-created here in Edmonton! In celebration of McCartney’s visit, 102A Avenue is being re-named “Abbey Road” for one week – complete with appropriate signage – and temporary paint has been used to re-create the look of the most famous crosswalk in pop culture history. Silhouette cutouts of the Fab Four in their iconic poses have been placed along the crosswalk – re-created in front of the Art Gallery of Alberta in Winston Churchill Square – for fans to pose next to for an Instagram-worthy moment.


Hot Attraction: Fall Festivals

If the weather outside is any indication, fall is well underway here in Edmonton! All the more reason to check out the plethora of festivals, and other activities, happening this weekend that celebrate familiar fall sights like pumpkins and scarecrows.

Scarecrow Festival (October 12 – 14): This is the final year to enjoy this beloved Halloween tradition. Families can enjoy a variety of fun, holiday-themed activities like face painting, a haunted house, Halloween crafts and games, scarecrow making, and cookie-decorating. General Admission $4; Children under 2 are free. Games and activities are an additional fee. All proceeds are donated to the ABC Head Start program. Oct 12 9:30 am – 8 pm; Oct 13 10 am – 8 pm; Oct 14 10 am – 5 pm. Edmonton Expo Centre Northlands Hall B, 7515-118 Ave.

Enjoy some of the many Fall Festivals that are happening this weekend!
Photo courtesy of City of Edmonton.


Hot Date: The Noble Thiefs at The Artery

The Artery (9535 Jasper Ave.) is one of Edmonton’s most trendy venues for live music, art, and socializing. Don’t let the simple exterior fool you; this venue is always bustling with locals checking out unique art displays, sampling a beer from a local brewery, or viewing a live show. The venue is easily accessible via public transit (Churchill LRT station) and also offers plenty of parking space. With special events happening nightly, this is a great place to relax and socialize while discovering music by some lesser-known but exceptionally talented artists.

Always in demand, The Artery is once again featuring the Winnipeg-based band The Noble Thiefs on Friday, February 22, 2013 (doors at 8 pm) for an 18+ show. 

The Noble Thiefs play at The Artery on February 22
Photo by Roger Boyer


The Noble Thiefs labels their sound as “rock n’ soul”, a unique combination of alterna-rock sounds with melodic, jazz-like vocal harmonies that resists an easy comparison to other bands. “If you like music, you’ll like us” vocalist Myron attests. “We all come from different musical backgrounds, but we can make music that appeals to a lot of people with the way we draw from different genres.” The band is fairly new to the Canadian music scene, but their live performances have already garnered them rave reviews from audiences who describe the shows as fun, lively, and full of energy.

Audiences will be completely enamoured with the four young men, whose passion for their music and their fans is absolutely captivating. When the band was last in Edmonton in October 2012, WHERE Edmonton sat down with the boys for an interview before their show. They were fun, friendly, engaging, passionate, and incredibly interesting – we can’t wait to hear and see more from this deserving and talented act.


Long Weekend Roundup: August 31 – September 3

Happy Labour Day! In addition to taking in a performance at Symphony Under the Sky, we highly recommend that you use the extra time you’ll have this weekend to enjoy some of the events happening around Edmonton:

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