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
I 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.
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 laureateAnna 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
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 Albertais 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.
I previewed Jeff Sylvester’s latest exhibition, Signals, for 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.
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.
Bob Baker’s 17-year tenure as the Citadel Theatre’s artistic director may have wrapped last summer, but his connection to the company and Edmonton’s theatre community persists with Sense and Sensibility—the final production he’s directing this season.
Baker asked local playwright Tom Wood to adapt Jane Austen’s literary classic to the stage, because it’s more than a romantic comedy of manners.
“It’s got a lot of edge to it,” Baker says. “It’s got a lot of pain in it, it’s got a lot of heart in it. So I thought it would be a great production for the Citadel to present, but also for the participants of the Citadel Banff Program.” Read more
Baker is an old professional acquaintance who directed me in all of my appearance at the Citadel Theatre, so it was great to reconnect with him and learn about his current and future ambitions.
Sense and Sensibility opens tonight and runs until May 14 in the Citadel’s Shoctor Theatre. You can get tickets from the box office website.
I previewed Citie Ballet’s third and final production of its 2016/2017 season for Vue Weeklytoday.
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.