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Celebrating 10 Years of Jasper Pride

Humble Beginnings

I spoke to Lynn Wannop, the Co-Chair of the Jasper Pride Festival Society, to talk about the 10th anniversary of the Jasper Pride Festival. When I asked about the popularity of Jasper Pride she answered, “Who doesn’t want to come to Jasper?” And Lynn is right, who wouldn’t want to come to Jasper? Especially since Jasper Pride is the largest pride event in the Canadian Rockies!

Jasper Pride is an important aspect of the community as it styles the mountain town as a year-round destination and portrays it as “a safe place where people can be themselves,” says Lynn. The Jasper Pride Festival comes for four days in April, but for the town itself, pride runs all year round.

Lynn recalled that ten years ago when she opened Coco’s Café, she put a rainbow sticker on the door. “I used to work with drag queens in Edmonton and when I moved to Jasper, I knew the direction I wanted to take my business in.” Ten years later, the majority of Jasper business have stickers on their doors as a mark of solidarity.

Lynn says, “Originally I just wanted to party – pride parties were so happy and fun, and it just grew from there.” Lynn’s first pride party was at the Downstream Bar and they’ve been involved ever since. Ten years later, businesses all around town are lending their services to make Jasper Pride a destination event.

Fabulous Festival  

The central hub for all things festival related is Jasper Pride House. This is a meeting place for people interested in what is going on during the festival, and it’s the headquarters for volunteers. There are couches and coffee and treats supplied by Coco’s Café. At pride house you can find event information, where to go, what to do or just hang out and meet cool people.

Are you struggling and in need of a support? Out Jasper is a community outreach program that extends its help to the LGBTQ community for those living in or passing through Jasper. If you need to talk to someone, Out Jasper is there to help.

The Fork and Spoon fundraiser is the food festival for Jasper Pride. Participating businesses all over town design special snacks and beverages to celebrate all things pride. Proceeds from sales go back into the festival!

Pride Events 2019

This four day event runs from April 25th to 28th and promises to be an exciting time for everyone with events going on all over Jasper.

On April 25thJasper Brewing will have a kickoff party where they will reveal their new beer brewed especially for the occasion. A dollar from every pint will go to support the Jasper Pride Society.

The Whistle Stop Pub will be hosting a mix, mingle and music kick-off party on the 25th. True to its roots, the Downstream Bar will be having some pride events of its own. Catch their kick-off dance party on the 25th and their burlesque dance party on the 26th.

The 4 Peaks Night Club will host The Dirrty Show on April 25th and their second Fruit Loop Mountain Party on the 26th, with DJ Queerbait and pop up drag queen performances. The Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre will have Pride Live Music with Kate Reid in their Champ’s Lounge on April 26th.

The Marmot Basin Pride Weekend will really get you into the pride spirit! During their pride parade on April 27th, all the party goers ski down Marmot Basin under a massive pride flag. There will also be a colourful pride fun run with a DJ and a BBQ.

Don’t forget about the main event: The Pride Party! On the 26th. The theme for the 2019 Pride Party is Proud Peaks National Derby. Put on your best derby outfit and enjoy a night of fun to celebrate a decade of Jasper Pride!

Other exciting programming includes a family friendly songs, stories and s’mores event at the Jasper Park lodge on the 27th, as well as yoga at Jasper Wellness and a line dancing workshop at the Jasper Legion.

All of this and more is to come. Check out www.jasperpride.ca for all the exciting event details. Come to Jasper and find out what it means to be Jasper Proud and Free!

Culture Crawl: Nuit Blanche 2016


Daniel Canogar's project Asalto Toronto

Daniel Canogar’s project Asalto Toronto.

Nuit Blanche, the all-night contemporary art event that transforms Toronto streets into a public gallery, returns for its 11th edition on October 1 featuring more than 80 projects. For 12 hours from sunset to sunrise, see the likes of sculptural works, dance, films, photography, interactive displays, and more at various locations including Nathan Phillips Square and along the Waterfront. Among the exhibits is Asalto Toronto (pictured) by Daniel Canogar, which is part of a broader display that examines metamorphosis and transformation, while Oblivion, including Pneuma by Floria Sigismondi, explores the cosmic universe as both a state of being and a state of nothingness. —Linda Luong Luck



Dine Like a Star During TIFF



Grab a drink or dinner at the chic Drake One Fifty during the festival and keep your eyes peeled for famous faces.

In addition to being home to TIFF headquarters and theatres such as the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra, the Entertainment District is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to restaurants. Enjoy the California-style vibes and say hello to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at Montecito, a joint venture between Ghostbusters filmmaker Ivan Reitman and chef Jonathan Waxman. The internationally-inspired menus at Hush and Luma win over moviegoers, with such offerings as maple glazed salmon and grilled quail respectively. Hearty Italian fare can be found at Buca, which serves house-made pastas among other favourites. The upscale Nota Bene is a downtown favourite for chef David’s lee’s impeccable menu, as well as the extensive gin list.

Catching a flick at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre? Both JaBistro  and Richmond Station are within walking distance. Feast on beautifully-plated fresh sashimi and sushi at the former, while the latter is co-owned by Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich with a seasonally-changing menu. The Chase has seafood-themed offerings like Arctic char, octopus and king crab, while further afoot, the Drake One Fifty is an ultra hip spot in the Financial District serving the likes of squid ink pasta and suckling pig porchetta.

—Karen Stevens

A Celebration of Cinema: TIFF 2016


Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in La La Land. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in La La Land. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Each September, film buffs and hopeful celebrity-spotters alike flock to the city for the Toronto International Film Festival, the annual star-studded event that runs from September 8 to 18. This year’s line up has 49 special presentations and 19 gala screenings, offering a variety of films from Canada and around the world.

Opening up the festival is the world premiere of the The Magnificent Seven, with an all-star cast including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Byung-hun Lee, Peter Sarsgaard, Vince D’Onofrio, and Jody Mullins. Director Antoine Fuqua’s modern remake sees outlaws, hired guns, bounty hunters and other ne’er-do-wells banding together to protect a small town against a greedy villain.

Celebrated Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan brings his Cannes Grand Prix-winning film It’s Only the End of the World to the festival. The story about the reunion of a dysfunctional family stars French actors like Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux and Nathalie Baye. Canadian author Carol Shields’ best-selling novel, Unless, makes its way to the silver screen starring Oscar–nominated Catherine Keener as the mother of a runaway daughter who becomes a panhandler on the streets of Toronto.

In another literary adaptation, Philip Roth’s 1997 crime drama American Pastoral is brought to life through the directorial debut of Ewan McGregor, who also stars alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning. Similarly, television host and rapper Nick Cannon can be found both behind the camera and in front of it in King of the Dancehall, a musical set in Jamaica.

Other special presentations include Lion, starring Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and Dev Patel, which is based on the true story of a man who used Google Earth to locate his birth parents 25 years later. Fans of The Rolling Stones can get satisfaction by getting a backstage glimpse of the legendary English rockers in a new documentary Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America. Or, get your fill of the current POTUS before he leaves with office with Barry, a biopic about Barack Obama’s college days. Crazy, Stupid, Love co-stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are paired together once again in Damien Chazelle’s musical, La La Land about a jazz pianist and aspiring actress who fall in love.

How to get Into the Festival

Single tickets run from $25 to $49, with rush tickets from $20 to $40. A number of packages can also be purchased starting at $85; see tiff.net, call 1-888-599-8433 or visit the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office at 350 King St. W. for complete options.  —Karen Stevens

Explore Photography at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival



At the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Sarah Anne Johnson’s Chillin’ at the Void is part of a series depicting outdoor music festivals as metaphors for Dionysian counterculture and the communal rejection of modern-day social norms.


MAY 1 TO 31 Toronto’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival draws attention to the creation and consumption of photo-based images and the challenging questions they pose—about the nature of memory, the formation of identity and much more. This year’s 20th-anniversary event promises to be as diverse and provocative as ever, with hundreds of exhibitions that, among other things, depict the industrial-scale accumulation of a newspaper photo archive (at the Globe and Mail headquarters), explore the scientific applications of photography (Edgar Leciejewski’s “scanographs” of birds at the North York Civic Centre) and use the banal to underscore the absurdity of superstardom (prints from the UofTDrizzy Instagram account, which photoshops Drake into mundane collegiate scenarios, will be installed throughout the city).

In all, the festival is both a snapshot of the state of contemporary photographic practice and a large-scale mediation on the act of truly seeing the world around us—for what it is (and isn’t), what it was and what it could be.


Edgar Leciejewski’s ornithological scanographs—on display at the North York Civic Centre (5100 Yonge St.)—upend our expectations of scientific objectivity, favouring aesthetic concerns over strict representation.


Diane Arbus_A Young Man and his Pregnant Wife in Washington Square Park

Diane Arbus’s A Young Man and His Pregnant Wife in Washington Square Park is one of 300-plus images in “Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s,” a monumental Art Gallery of Ontario group show that captures the changing face of the U.S. during a period of social and political upheaval.


Celebrate Summer

Halifax’s festival season heats up with music, art, culture, food and more

By Trevor J. Adams


A busy month of festivals and cultural celebrations begins with the Scotia Festival of Music. Continuing through June 7 at venues around the city, this event is a must for serious music fans, showcasing the best in Chamber music. This year, the lineup includes coductor Kenneth Woods, cellist Denise Djokic, violinist Giora Schmidt and pianist Simon Docking. A gala matinee concert at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on June 7 concludes the festival, featuring works by Elgar, Beethoven and Benjamin. Concurrently, Halifax’s vibrant Lebanese community celebrates its roots with Cedar Festival from June 4 to 7 at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish on Joseph Howe Drive. Festivities include a special mass, musical performances, art exhibitions, food tastings, games, dancing and more. June also sees the return of one of Halifax’s biggest and most popular festivals. Running this year from June 11 to 14, Halifax Greek Fest always attracts thousands to Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road.June---Antique-Car-Show_admirers Lively music and dancing abound, along with cultural exhibitions and Greek cuisine aplenty. This year’s schedule features the Poseidon live band, a screening of FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer (Greece vs. Colombia), Greek language classes, a sommelier-hosted Greek wine and food tasting, and more. That same weekend, Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte hosts the Father’s Day Antique Car Show. Scheduled for June 21, (rain date June 29), the show is a rite of Father’s Day. There are dozens of lovingly restored classic cars, plus live entertainment and Kub Kar races. This month also features one of Halifax’s longest-running summer events: the Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival. Running from June 26 to 28 at the Halifax Seaport Harbourwalk at the corner of Terminal and Marginal roads, the festival showcases Nova Scotia’s many traditional-dancers2cultural communities with music, food, art, cultural exhibitions and more. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo closes out the month. Running from June 30 to July 7 at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street, it’s the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type. The lineup includes an exciting mix of military and civilian drill teams, bands and performers from around the globe. This year’s highlights include the Halifax debut for Sweden’s Home Guards Band of Eslöv, His Majesty the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway, the Gym Wheel Team Taunusstein of Germany and the Paris Police Gymnastics Team.



Hot Docs: Global Visions Film Festival

Global Visions 2Canada’s longest-running documentary film festival, Global Visions (running from May 7–18, 2015) kicked off this year’s fest with one of the year’s most highly anticipated and critically acclaimed films, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. From director Brett Morgen, this film uses Cobain’s own journals, music, art, films, and audio recordings to paint a definitive portrait of Nirvana’s visionary frontman and highlight his lasting influence on popular culture.

Other notable docs featured this year include:

1 Dead Venues Created by locals Mike Siek and Eden Munro, this is a fond look back at some of Edmonton’s most beloved, “gone-but-not-forgotten” music venues.

2 Made In Japan From director Josh Bishop, this is the poignant and incredibly inspiring story of Japanese country music star Tomi Fujiyama.

3 How to Change the World Using never before seen archival materials, this doc is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement.

Visit the website for screening times, and check out the current issue for more fantastic festivals!

—Lindsay Shapka

Canmore Uncorked Long Table Dinner

By Olivia Grecu

Back by popular demand! After a breakout first year at the Canmore Uncorked food and drink festival in 2014, 130 lucky diners snagged tickets to this year’s coveted Long Table Dinner, which took place April 17.

As I arrived at the venue, a (you guessed it) long table set up under a tent on 7th Avenue, a small crowd had gathered. I could hear event-goers and passersby marveling at how beautiful the dinner tent looked against the mountain backdrop.



Canmore Uncorked Ravenrock Craft Beer Festival

The Stewart Creek Golf Club was bustling with beer lovers at the Canmore Uncorked Ravenrock Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, April 11. With over 15 vendors and double the beer selection (as well as ciders, meads and more), the variety in product was impressive, not to mention delicious.



Canmore Uncorked World Tour Progressive Dinner

By Afton Aikens


The warm evening sun was beaming off the massive windows at the Grizzly Paw’s brewery when I arrived to embark on the Canmore Uncorked World Tour Progressive Dinner. The 20,000-sq. ft. building is impressive, with high vaulted ceilings and a wood trim exterior. I sampled one of my favourite beers—their Beavertail Raspberry Ale, as well as the new Chinook Red IPA.


Canmore Uncorked Food & Drink Festival

By Afton Aikens

Hang up your apron because there’ll be no need for home cooking during the second annual Canmore Uncorked festival, April 7 to 19.

The inaugural festival won an Alberta tourism award and was nominated for the Canadian Tourism Awards’ event of the year. Organizers are raising the bar this year, adding new events that will showcase the quality and creativity that drives Canmore’s dining scene, paired with tried and true favourites.



WINTERLUDE Roundup: Best Bets during Winterlude’s opening weekend


Skating along the Rideau Canal Skateway is one of the most popular events during Winterlude.

Ottawa’s been in a deep freeze lately, but the next three weeks make it all worth it. February 1 to 18 marks the 35th anniversary of Winterlude, Ottawa’s celebration of frosty fun. From concerts, special exhibits, outdoor activities, and food and drink events, you’ll find something for everyone. We highlight just a few of the happenings taking place during opening weekend.

Friday, February 1
Opening ceremony! This year the kick-off is at the Marion Dewar Plaza outside City Hall. The free event will feature incredible aerial dancers, interactive projections, and pyrotechnic effects. Afterwards, A Tribe Called Red’s Electric Powwow will get you moving. DJs NDN, Bear Witness and Shub are the Ottawa locals who started the powwow step movement, combining electronica with traditional powwow vocals and drumming.

Sarah Slean plays at Centrepointe Theatre, on the first night of Winterlude.

Winterlude wouldn’t be Winterlude without ice-skating on the Rideau Canal. Every year the canal and Dows Lake are transformed into the world’s largest skating rink. Check out the Skateway’s website for ice conditions and directions to one of their three skate and sleigh rental centres, then head on over for skating, hot chocolate, and yummy treats.

If you want to enjoy the spirit of Winterlude without having to brave the elements, you’ll be pleased to know that Ontario’s own Sarah Slean has an opening-night concert at the Centrepointe Theatre. Her voice will give you chills.

Saturday, February 2
Get your body moving at Jacques-Cartier Park! Starting at 10 a.m. the Snowflake Stage will be bumping music so you can get your Zumba moves on.

After your morning workout, head to Confederation Park where the Ottawa Art Gallery will be on hand to help artists of all ages to take part in building ice sculptures and ice mosaics.

The Darcy’s perform at the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival, part of the Winterlude festivities.

The Wee Trio, the John Escreet Trio, Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola Duo, Pawa Up First, and The Darcys arrive in town to perform at the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival.

Sunday, February 3
Make sure you have enough energy for the day’s activities by dining at the Red Apron’s Winterlude Brunch. It’s lumberjack-themed, so wear your plaid, toques, and sport a moustache. Expect apple cinnamon waffles, tourtière, and maple-whisky baked beans. Mmm!