Kobo Town concert preview for Vue Weekly

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Kobo Town is an incredible Canadian calypso band, and I got to preview its upcoming concert for Vue Weekly.

When Kobo Town comes to play, they deliver a high-energy show with calypso classics and reinterpretations of the genre.

After moving to Canada as a teenager, Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves named the band after the historic neighbourhood in Port of Spain, Trinidad: the birthplace of calypso.

Gonsalves grabbed inspiration from all around him for the band’s latest album Where the Galleon Sank—whether by listening to hits from Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, working with legendary performers like Calypso Rose, absorbing ideas from French culture, or spotting quirks in Kobo Town’s home-base Toronto. Read more

Where the Galleon Sank is nominated for world album of the year at The JUNOS awards this weekend. Whether Gonsalves and his band earn the top nod or not, their concert isn’t one to be missed if you can make it to The Arden Theatre on March 29.

‘La Traviata’ Opera Preview for Vue Weekly

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I had a fun time previewing La Traviata in Vue Weekly this week. It’s described as the ‘pinnacle’ of opera, and this production is set in a cabaret club.

Mercury Opera’s slogan may be “Opera where you least expect it,” but for this week’s production of the iconic La Traviata, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting venue in Edmonton than the Chez Pierre Cabaret.

La Traviata tells a tragic tale of overlapping love triangles in 1920s Paris, with Violetta Valéry (an accomplished courtesan) and Alfredo Germont (the first man she feels has truly loved her) at the centre.

And within the intimate club setting of Chez Pierre, Mercury Opera artistic director Darcia Parada says an eight-piece orchestra will bring Giuseppe Verdi’s music to life while internationally acclaimed singers unleash their voices up close as if every audience member is a part of the characters’ party. Guests are even invited to attend in ‘20s attire to suit the occasion. Read more

I can’t wait to see what it feels like to be so close to the performers. I love the way Mercury Opera‘s tries to hook new audiences, and Chez Pierre couldn’t be a better choice to flaunt that approach. The show runs through Mar. 11.

Good Grief Photo Exhibition Preview for Vue Weekly

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I previewed Good Grief for Vue Weekly today. It’s an exciting debut exhibition by Jay Procktor, an Edmonton photographer I respect immensely.

As a Grade 1 teacher, Jay Procktor sometimes clowns around with his students. But after years of work on the side as a photographer, the 43-year-old local is unveiling his first large gallery exhibition this week, filled with 16 images of clowns in both a literal and symbolic sense.

The Good Grief exhibit is inspired by personal loss Procktor has encountered, featuring 15 self-portraits and one photo of Procktor’s father.

In February 2012, Procktor’s best friend passed away and five months later his father also passed after a long battle with cancer. Read more

My interview with Procktor was one of my all-time favourites. The way he channeled loss into a community project culminating in fantastic art is incredible. I only wish I had more space to share his story.

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.

Edmonton Resilience Festival 2017 Preview for Vue Weekly

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Photo by Paula Gerein

In a preview for Vue WeeklyI had the chance to speak to Laura Ward, the director of the incredibly varied Edmonton Resiliency Festival.

Saturday’s third annual Edmonton Resilience Festival explores the many facets of sustainable living. Held at Waldorf Independent School, it is timed to coincide with the change of seasons in Edmonton and Earth Day. Read more

I’d never heard of this one-day, workshop-based festival before, but it’s brimming with opportunities to learn about living in a sustainably fulfilling way, and the workshops are ticketed individually. Check out the schedule and more info at the Edmonton Resiliency Festival website.

Spring 2017 Anime Preview: Sakura Quest

Sakura Quest Apr 12, 2017, 9.56.50 PM

P.A. Works’ latest slice of life show, Sakura Quest, takes a recent university graduate’s job-search woes and spins it into another fun take on its real-world “Working” series of anime.

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Spring 2017 Anime Preview: The Royal Tutor

The Royal Tutor Apr 12, 2017, 11.02.37 AM

While the first two episode of studio Bridge’s The Royal Tutor (Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine) fall squarely into the genre of comedy, they also do an excellent job of charting a path of character discovery to give its jokes some weight.

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