Edmonton International Fringe Festival 2017: My Reviews Are In

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I reviewed 15 shows at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival for Vue Weekly‘s EdmontonFringe.ca this weekend. Here they all are in one place, ordered from fav to least.

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The Leduc Rep Reporting Gig Consuming all of My Time This Summer

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I started work as a reporter at the Leduc Rep weekly newspaper on Monday. The newsroom is small, but its audience is engaged, so I’ll have my work cut out for me during this summer internship.

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Heart of the City Music and Arts Festival Preview for Vue Weekly

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I returned to my musical roots again this week when I previewed the Heart of the City Music and Arts Festival for Vue Weekly.

The annual Heart of the City Music and Arts Festival will take over Giovanni Caboto Park again this Saturday and Sunday as it highlights inner city artists for the 14th year in a row.

Charity Slobod, an organizing board member for the festival, has helped run the event for six years, and she says its primary goal is always the same.

“The main focus, and the most important point, is really giving a platform and helping inspire inner city musicians, artists, slam poets—you name it,” Slobod says. “If you sing it, you can play it, you can be on our stage.” Read more

Goodluck Jonathan Heart of the City 2010I played with a high school rock band (Goodluck Jonathan) at the festival in 2010, so it’s great to hear that it is still growing and supporting artists in Edmonton’s core.

High Level Lit Salon #2 Preview for Vue Weekly

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Jennifer Cockrall-King/ Curtis Trent Photography

I previewed the second High Level Lit Salon this week for Vue Weekly, and the lineup looks as spectacular and as diverse as the first.

Four local writers will converge at The Mercury Room on Wednesday to discuss their work on a non-fiction anthology reflecting on Canada’s 150th birthday from an Edmonton perspective.

High Level Lit: Musings on YEG for Canada’s Sesquicentennial will feature essays and poetry from 12 local authors and be published as a special issue of Eighteen Bridges Magazine this October. The project is organized by the Edmonton Community Foundation in tandem with LitFest Alberta. 

The High Level Lit Salon Series spotlights the anthology’s contributors with a live event, and the second salon will feature food culture writer Jennifer Cockrall-King, former Edmonton poet laureate  Anna Marie Sewell, and local playwright Darrin Hagen. Malcom “Minister Faust” Azania also returns to host the event, after he read excerpts of his anthology contribution at the first salon on Mar. 1. He says the anthology focuses mostly on the Canadian settler perspective. Read more

The Salon Series and High Level Lit: Musings on YEG for Canada’s Sesquicentennial anthology aim to acknowledge that Canada 150 isn’t a celebration for all Canadians. The perspectives of each writer reflect that, and I can’t wait to learn more

SpaceFinder Alberta Workspace Listing Service Report for Vue Weekly

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Photo by Dave Von Bieker

Last week I reported on SpaceFinder Alberta for Vue Weekly. It’s a service brimming with potential, and making it’s way to my province after finding success across North America.

One of the most frustrating barriers to creating art is finding a space to work in. SpaceFinder Alberta is changing this with a listing service aiming to provide a robust solution for Albertan creators.

“We’re kind of referring to it as the Airbnb for non-profits and artists to find the spaces that they require to do their work,” Julian Mayne says. Read more

SpaceFinder Alberta is free to use, growing steadily, and its granular filters should help creatives find the right space for their needs. It seems simple, but execution is everything, so here’s hoping the service succeeds.

Jeff Sylvester’s ‘Signals’ Art Exhibition Preview for Vue Weekly

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I previewed Jeff Sylvester’s latest exhibition, Signalsfor Vue Weekly earlier this month.

The work of longtime Edmonton-based artist Jeff Sylvester looks like animated freeze-frames. And Signals, his latest solo exhibition installed this week at The Front Gallery, continues his concept of melding natural and man-made figures with his paintings.

The 44-year-old father of three slowed his exhibition pace after he had kids, but he’s been working steadily on Signals for the past two years and he’s happy with the result. Read more

The exhibition is up until June 5 at The Front Gallery, and both Sylvester and gallery owner Rachel Bouchard say you have to see the paintings in person to really appreciate them.

NorthwestFest Nonfiction Film Festival Preview for Vue Weekly

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Photo by Michael di Benedetto

I previewed Edmonton’s NorthwestFest for Vue Weekly today. The value-added experiences on the festival’s schedule feel like the beginning of something special.

This may only be the second year NorthwestFest is sporting its new name, but as Canada’s longest running nonfiction film festival, its history goes back decades.

Formerly the Global Visions Film Festival, the new moniker NorthwestFest International Documentary and Media Arts Festival has far more heft, as does the festival itself. What was once a three-day event is now a 10-day smorgasbord of variety designed to entice a wider audience, festival director Guy Lavallee says.

“We realized that to really have more of an international festival flavour, you need to be more than three days long,” he says. Read more

The fest opens tonight, and with live podcasts recordings and interactive VR films planned in addition to the traditional films, it should be a lot of fun. You can check the schedule, snag tickets, bundles, and passes, and review award nominations on NorthwestFest website.