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.

Citie Ballet’s ‘Boundaries’ Preview for Vue Weekly

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Martine Martell Photography

I previewed Citie Ballet’s third and final production of its 2016/2017 season for Vue Weekly today.

This weekend, Edmonton’s Citie Ballet wraps its fifth season at the Timms Centre for the Arts with Boundaries—dance that challenges traditional balletic conventions.

The company’s artistic director, Jorden Morris says the two-part performance features something for everyone. Read more

The first featured ballet is choreographed by 22-year-old Kylee Hart, who’s also a dancer with Citie Ballet. It was incredible speaking with both Hart and Morris about the way they’re trying to push the conventions of their art.

Check out the company’s website to learn more about Boundaries and to grab tickets to the 7:30 p.m. evening performances on Friday and Saturday, as well as the 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Needles Twirling: Edmonton Knitting Circle Feature for the Nook

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As part of the Nook, a startup Edmonton hobbyist website I helped run this semester, I wrote a deep dive on three Edmonton women and their knitting circle.

In through the front, and a wrap around the back. That’s the repetitious trajectory of it. The yarn ebbs and flows, weaving in and out of itself, guided by years of trial and error and two methodically twirling needles held by calm hands. And for some Edmonton hobbyists, it’s one of the best parts of their week.

Moving to a big city from a smaller community can be challenging in a number of ways. So to help curate their social life and fill their free time with fulfilling sense of productivity, three women that now call Edmonton home joined with their friends and formed a knitting circle.

Katherine McFatridge, Katia Reid, and Angela Johnston, come together every seven days to talk about their week and coach each other on their latest knitted creations. And They’ve been doing so for almost a decade. Read more

It was a joy hearing the three self-described introverts open up to me about how important knitting is in their lives. And more broadly speaking, making similar discoveries with the Nook over the last few months was a fun experience.

‘Skin Glowing in the Moonlight’ Art Exhibition Preview for Vue Weekly

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I got to reach outside my bubble and talk to two black artist, Danièle Dennis and Shantel Miller, for a preview of Skin Glowing in the Moonlight in Vue Weekly.

Skin Glowing in the Moonlight will feature the work of two Toronto-based black Canadian artists at Edmonton’s Latitude 53 gallery for 44 days, starting next week.

Danièle Dennis uses videography to challenge the status quo of black identity, while her friend and former art school junior, Shantel Miller, takes a similar approach by focussing on black men in oil paintings.

“We’re really, really excited to be featuring our work in Edmonton,” Dennis says. “We really look forward to people coming out to the show, talking to us, engaging with us, and asking questions.” Read more

For as far as we’ve come as a progressive society, speaking with these two women reminded me that we still have a long way to go. Skin Glowing in the Moonlight opens on April 13 and runs through May 27 at Latitude 53.