By RACHAEL FREY
The Chinook City Kill Jills (in yellow) take on Fernie’s Avalanche City Roller Girls (Photo: Steve Recsky Photography)
Sparkle Motion. Negative Nancy. Crimson Shivers. These rough and tumble nom de zooms are a tongue-in-cheek nod to the 1970s heyday of roller derby, a full-contact, roller-skate sport now experiencing a North American renaissance. Artfully rugged, fast-paced and surprisingly strategic, matchups see each team’s “jammer” score points by lapping the opposing team’s “blockers” on an oval flat track. In Calgary, these matches are held at indoor community halls surrounded by floor-level spectator seating. Sparkle Motion, aka Claire Lacey, is a member of Calgary’s co-ed Chinook City Roller Derby league. She skates on its women’s team, the Kill Jills, and coaches new recruits.
What position do you play?
I play all positions. I love the speed and single-mindedness of jamming, as well as the physicality and strategy of blocking.
By IAN DOIG
James Moore, comedian and host of Comedy Monday Night at Broken City (Photo: Marnie Persaud)
Some of the biggest laughs happen in small clubs, and Calgary features a handful of such intimate comedy venues. In fact, the longest-running (almost nine years) open-mic comedy show in Western Canada takes place once a week in what happens to be one of the city’s coolest music clubs. A collection of bar stools and booths surrounds the dance floor and stage at Broken City. Here, on Comedy Monday Night, you’ll find funny-man host James Moore and his comic guests surrounded by a semi-circle of laughter.
The show has a reputation among stand-up comics: Zach Galifianakis and Bob Odenkirk have both dropped by. Why is that?
They’re comics, and they like to get out and try new stuff. We have a reputation for putting on a show, and that probably draws them in. Galifianakis absolutely destroyed the place. Odenkirk had some great new bits he was trying out, equating his kids to living with the worst roommate ever.