We were in Toronto this past weekend to support our youngest daughter at a cheer competition at Canada’s Wonderland. I haven’t written much about her foray into the world of competitive cheerleading because that’s her own story to share if she wants to share it. I will say this: I was quite surprised when she […]
The post A peek inside Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto (and a bit about Canada’s Wonderland) appeared first on a peek inside the fishbowl.
Imagine that you were given the gift – or curse – of knowing exactly when you are going to die. You find yourself sitting in the otherworldly office of the Curator of Life and Death. You’re shown to a chair while the Curator sits across from you. The Curator is big, and you are small. […]
Tuesday, May 17 was commemorated as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, or IDAHOT….
We live within easy walking distance of the Highland Park Lawn Bowling Club. My Westie readers probably know this place already. It’s been around for quite a while. (Ottawa history buffs can read more about the club here.) Every year the club members host an open house and every year we manage to miss it. […]
This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Great Wolf Lodge #GWLNiagara10 sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. . Traveling as a family of five can sometimes be tricky. From restaurant tables that only seat four [Read On]
You can read the first part of this post right here. There were two reasons why we thought it might be cool to have a wooden stake as part of a Buffy costume at Comicon. Not only is a stake a useful prop (vampire slayers DO often use wooden stakes to kill blood-sucking ghouls) but […]
If you were to ask me what my favourite season is here in Ottawa, I’d say: SPRING: because of the tulips and the explosion of green and happy people everywhere. SUMMER: because there is so much to see and do: festivals, music, beaches, patios! FALL: because of the fall foliage and excellent hiking. WINTER: because […]
Last month Grade 4 constructed the Alberta provincial crest out of clay.The students did a terrific job and they were quite proud of them. Great tie in with social studies.Now you could adapt this to fit whatever province you are in.MATERIALS REQ…
This Fall I have done a lot of these ‘postcard’ projects.It’s an image that would be on a tourist postcard but we make it canvas sized.I have made similar ones for the Taj Mahal and Machu Pichu that tie into the Grade 3 social studies curriculum.  …
This blog is focused on autism disorders, very closely related conditions including intellectual disability and epilepsy. It is about my son and the joy he brings me each day despite his serious disorders and challenges. Occasionally it is …
Keeping with our Bear and papier mache theme this week I put together this project.Each head is about the size of an orange. I mounted mine, a good way to combine this project with a writing assignment.I think these would also be amazing as a Chr…
Guest Contributor: Uryelle Dimailig
The Edmonton Folk Music Festival—as mentioned in my last article—is a pretty big deal. To illustrate exactly how big of a deal, tickets to the festival sell out within minutes while lotteries are drawn simply to enter the grounds when gates first open for the day.
Arguably one of the most popular festivals of the year, it boasts an army of over 2,500 volunteers alone, not to mention the thousands more who attend as guests. But whether volunteer, concert-goer, performer or passing observer, this annual event is indeed a magical time for all: four days of stunning scenery, world class music, united community, and general feel-good vibes unique to the one and only “Folk Fest.” For those of you who missed last weekend’s festivities (or have never been), here is my round-up of highlights from my time there on Saturday and Sunday to get you caught up to speed.
For those of you who are regulars, well, consider this fond nostalgia.
My first day was mainly spent exploring the festival and getting acquainted with the grounds. First thing you’ll undoubtedly notice is the sea of tarps sprawling over the steep hills of Gallagher Park on one side and the stunning view of Edmonton’s downtown core perched on top of the river valley on the other—the view alone is a big draw for many. You feel like you’re in an oasis in the middle of the city!
My quick tour of the market saw unique local vendors selling crafts that follow the “folk” sensibility: leather satchels, handmade jewelry, wooden décor, the works. The food pavilions provided hungry concert-goers with international fare including Thai, Chinese, German, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Canadian and more, with (of course) vegetarian and vegan options.
There were plenty of kid friendly amenities in the festival as well including a spray park, face painting and a family fun area. For us grownups, our fun area was known as the beer gardens, which offer up pitchers of beer, hotdogs, and great conversation with new and old friends. Stick around after the sun sets and take in the glorious sight of a hill filled with twinkling lights and a night sky full of stars. Truly magical.
As for the shows, my goal on Sunday was to catch as many as I could and I feel my mission was accomplished, having caught seven concerts that afternoon. Here are a few of my favourites:
Emmanuel Jal: So I stumbled on this show by accident. I was actually on my way to find ice cream but I couldn’t help but stop as I passed by Emmanuel Jal’s stage. This guy had energy for days, jumping up and down, dancing in the crowd and pulling the audience on stage to join the show. Jal’s empowering songs affected the crowd too—everyone was up on their feet dancing along as the park resounded with anthems of love and peace, such is his mandate. The incredible story of Jal’s past life as a child soldier in Sudan, turned hip-hop artist and activist hailing from Toronto made for an uplifting performance that not only entertained but inspired all those who watched. For music with a message, an artist with a story, and an entertainer with passion, Emmanuel Jal’s your guy—his show was a definite highlight of the festival and it’s all thanks to ice cream.
I’m With Her: Shifting musical stylings somewhat after the Emmanuel Jal show, I drifted over to Stage 2 where the ladies of I’m With Her began their soft-spoken, gentle set of folksy originals and cover songs. These ladies had the most angelic voices which, when paired with their delicate instrumentals, served as the perfect complement to the sunshine and stunning view of the river valley behind the stage. Considering you were surrounded by thousands of people, the I’m With Her set had a magical way of feeling intimate and close, as every live performance should.
Fairfield Four: So funny story. While I was in the media tent sorting through the day’s photos, a group of older gentlemen arrived and media volunteers were busy trying to get them to their assigned stage. One of the men took a seat beside me, smiled and said, “How do you do,” in the smoothest, southern baritone voice I have ever heard. Being a newbie to the folk music scene however, I couldn’t quite place what kind of music they would be playing.
An hour later, there I was swaying to the stylings of the legendary Fairfield Four as their airtight four-part acapella harmonies and rolling bass lines took you through a journey of gospel tales and rich southern history. Incredibly humble for a group whose songs have won them Grammies and major Hollywood soundtracks, these talented vocalists are the third generation to hold a place in the Fairfield Four’s almost century long history. What a privilege it truly was to watch them live in concert.
The McCrary Sisters: Continuing on the gospel note, the McCrary Sisters took to the stage shortly after. As daughters of one of the founding members of the Fairfield Four, it was clear that musical talent ran through the family. The sisters, with their pitch perfect harmonies, powerful vocal riffs and impeccable showmanship, took turns sharing the spotlight with their spirited set of blues, soul and gospel songs. My personal favourite was their song “Let It Go” which was an anthem of positivity and love. To top it all off, the Fairfield Four joined the Sisters on stage for an amazing joint performance that had everyone on their feet dancing and singing along.
All in all, I LOVED every second of my Folk Fest experience. Yes, the music was amazing but even more important was the incredible spirit of community, inclusion and support you felt when you were there. If you have a chance to make it to next year’s festival, I highly recommend it. Cheers to all the Folk; see you next August on the hill!
Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hardy spent a lot of time in Alberta over the last year filming The Revenant with the Oscar winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Birdman). Most of this was filmed just outside of Calgary.
This movie looks really intense…and Leo looks really dirty. I don’t really approve of that aspect of the film.
I went to my very first Edmonton Folk Music Festival last year and I was blown away. It quickly ranked to the top of my Alberta music festival chart and this year’s line-up is promising more of the same!So this year, if you are planning on spending a f…
Years have passed, governments have come and gone, but still the elected members of the New Brunswick legislative assembly, despite international recognition for its parent advocacy driven early intervention and school autism services, …
The ENMAX Corral Show at the Calgary Stampede gets better and better every year. Located on the Stampede grounds, the Corral seats just over 7,000 people and has a free with-park-admission show every day (at 2, 4 and 7 PM) for Stampede goers to attend….
The Calgary Stampede is a few days away and it is time to get your schedule in order. Besides going to the grounds and watching the Grandstand show, hitting the Rodeo, betting on the chuckwagon races and buying the weird midway food (this year there is a $100 hot dog…um, what?)Here are some things that can keep it full for the 10 days of fun ahead:
Friday July 3, 2015
The Stampede kicks off with the Stampede Parade through downtown Calgary. This year’s parade marshal is Olympian Kallie Humphries.
Saturday July 4, 2015
Chinook Center Pancake Breakfast
One of the great joys of Stampede is all the pancakes. If you don’t go to a pancake breakfast during Stampede you just aren’t stampeding right. The Chinook Stampede breakfast feeds 60,000 people. That’s a lot of pancakes.
Sunday July 5, 2015
Hit the grounds on the first Sunday and get your place around the Coke stage for one of this year’s acts Vance Joy.
Monday July 6, 2015
Wildhorse Saloon Tent
The tent in the middle of downtown is the corporate cowboys delight. There are different concerts and on this night you have Canadian rocker turned country star Dallas Smith.
Tuesday July 7, 2015
ENMAX Corral Show
This year the ENMAX Corral show at the Stampede grounds is Cirque Éloize, one of today’s leaders in contemporary circus arts from Montreal, Québec.They are performing a Stampede version of their show iD.
Wednesday July 8, 2015
The big concerts at Fort Calgary never disappoint the crowd. This year they are throwing back with Collective Soul, Big Wreck and Journey. You always sing along to Don’t Stop Believing when it comes on – this year you can do it with the band live.
Thursday July 9, 2015
Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show
You can’t miss the Grandstand fireworks every night during Stampede, but you should see the whole show at least once. The Young Canadians, the Alberta Ballet and many other performers bring the glitz and dazzle to the stage every night after the Chuckwagon races.
Friday July 10, 2015
Virgin Mobile Concert Series at the Saddledome
Blake Shelton takes the stage at the Saddledome the night after his wife Miranda Lambert woos the audience.
Saturday July 11, 2015
Hit up the famous Stampede beer tent on the night Jason Blaine takes the stage.
Sunday July 12, 2015
End off the ten day event with a stop at the Cowboys tent for a concert. Kip Moore and Nelly will shut down the Cowboy’s stage for this year.
It was a cold and rainy morning but despite the weather it was a great day to shop for plants.A little rain was no matter for these shoppers. Just put on your wellies and pick your plants!I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all the many many people …
Canada has long needed a REAL National Autism Strategy, one which includes coverage of autism in medicare to ensure that children with autism disorders received treatment for their autism disorders regardelss of which province their parents live in. One of the most glaring examples of the need for national autism medical coverage is in the province I once called Canada’s Autism Wasteland province. Since that commentary on September 2, 2007 little progress appears to have been made judging by the Global story by Amber Rockliffe: Saskatchewan families moving due to lack of autism funding. Rockliffe reports of Saskachewan families leaving the province to find treatment for their children’s autism disorders; treatment which is not available because of long wait lists and is not usually delivered in sufficient hours to make a substantial difference in treating their children’s autism.
“Sheri Radoux, has moved south of the U.S. border to Minnesota. “I think the services in Saskatchewan are probably the worst, or one of the worst in Canada, “said Radoux. “We moved down to Minnesota and we got full-time therapy for all our children, paid and funded by the state.”
It’s a sure sign of Spring.The Plant Sale is coming….. and that means a raffle featuring a locally made birdhouse, canteen with fresh baked goodies, aged manure and compost, used garden books, a playground for the children…..and PLANTS. lots …
Did you know that they still make Heritage Minutes? There have been five released since 2012, and they just released a sixth about nurses in WWI. As usual, it will make you feel very patriotic.
“Nursing Sisters” was produced by Historica Canada and Calgary-based Corkscrew Media and Stir Films. It stars Canadian actress Siobhán Williams (Hell on Wheels, Black Box, UnReal). The iconic end narration is provided by Molly Parker (House of Cards).
I am still going to say that the James Naismith basketball peach baskets and the “Dr. Penfield, I smell burnt toast.” ones were my all time favorites. I mean, you just can’t beat one of America’s favorite past times and everyone thinking their having a stroke when they smell burnt toast.
One of the things we cherish about being Canadian is our reputation for being polite. It’s great to raise our families in a country known the world over for having good manners (and it’s super handy to be able to […]
The Calgary Philharmonic got into the hockey playoff spirit on Saturday night at the Jack Singer concert hall at the Art Commons after the Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks in game 6 of the first series. Singing a playoff version of O Fortuna…..
When I had heard that Mirvish Productions made a call out for hundreds of guitarists to gather in the city to connect and play the song ‘Falling Slowly’ from the musical Once, I knew it was going to be epic. […]
Dear Readers: Hey kids, I ran across this article today and since Ontario Place opened when I was still quite young, (teens) and these photo’s and video’s brought back a whole bunch of memories! Any kid who spent time in Toronto during the 1970s, 80s and 90s surely fostered blissful, orange-soaked memories at Children’s Village […]
I’m sitting in an intimate theatre with a bunch of teenagers at the opening performance of the play Tagged. As you would expect, the teens are loud as they sing along to the blaring pop music as we wait for […]
2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year for the international climate movement, and Earth Day Canada wants to show the world that Canadians are supportive of meaningful climate action. As such, Earth Day Canada is creating a 2015 Earth Flag on which we will collect signatures from people across the country who are […]
I love bringing my kids out to experience theatre and other performing arts—it’s something that I personally love to do and I believe in balance. We need arts in our lives just as much as we need academics and sports. […]
Dear Readers: Your long suffering reporter fervently believes in that old axiom, “The French are the best second raters in the world” and this article does nothing to dispel that belief! A Montreal man is criticizing Quebec language laws after a clerk at a local Toys “R” Us told him he was wasn’t allowed to purchase […]
Canadian singer Peter Katz is not disappointing anyone with his third studio album We Are the Reckoning – which includes this super cute song Brother featuring another Canadian artist Royal Wood.The song is just so lovely, as is Peter Katz. The first t…
Sindy with an S was voted off of Big Brother Canada the second week into the game, but we may not have seen the last of her yet. Sindy and Risha both sit waiting to see if they will be able to go back into the house…and on Sunday another person will …
We Are the City, the Vancouver, BC indie rock trio, re-released their sophomore album Violent in Canada (with two bonus tracks) last week and for the fir time in the US. To celebrate, the group has put a video of each track from the album on YouTube. T…
Vancouver songwriter Hilary Grist just released a music video for her song Come and Go. The song is beautiful, but the video is about a traveling salesman…also known as the job I will be doing in hell when I finally arrive. Seriously – worst ever.I w…
Dear Readers: Coming soon to a city near you ………,stupid laws and regulations! Yup, they’re doing it in England and the States, BUT, we got them all beat!! In England, Councils creating ‘bizarre new criminal offences’ &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;img alt=”PA Wire” src=”http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/629342/article_update_img.jpg”A campaign group has criticised a new law which allows councils to ban activities such as […]
While it’s fun to be invited to the fashion shows at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, it’s equally as much fun to get behind-the-scenes and enter into the calm chaos backstage. From hair to makeup to nails, we had a chance to […]
World MasterCard Fashion Week celebrates the many talented designers we have here in Canada and if you haven’t heard of KANIA, take note! KANIA is a luxury sweatshirt line created by designer Stacey Bafi-Yeboa launched in 2003 after she discovered […]
We sometimes joke around about our kids one day going to Harvard, that’s the dream isn’t it? But then we really started to think if something like that is really a possibility for Canadians? How do you go about it? […]
The One of a Kind Spring Show happens this week and we’ve scoured the hundreds of artisans to discover what’s new and what we are lusting over for our at home entertainers and chefs. Our favourite ten can all be […]
Big Brother Canada season three premieres tonight on Global, and no one is as excited about this as the BBCAN host Arisa Cox. “It is so huge, we are so thrilled!…because it’s on Global in prime time, I excited for the people who have never seen the show or have watched maybe one episode of Big Brother US and they don’t know what all the fuss is about – when they see tonight’s episode, they will be believers,” said Arisa when I talked to her this morning.
I think all of the regular Big Brother fans were excited last year when the announcement came out that the reality show would be moving from the specialty channel Slice over to the main Shaw channel Global. With the audience reach widening, there are all sorts of opportunities to make believers out of all Canadians instead of just the die hards.
If I were Arisa, all I would be thinking about would be the jump in audience. With so many more people potentially watching the show, would that put Arisa off her game? In her words, no. “…if one person is watching or if 3 million people are watching, I always want it to be the best.”
I tried to get Arisa to give me some spoilers (if I were her I would have given them to me and no one else – obviously), but she would not budge. What she did tell me, “We’ve got a ton of superfans in the house…everybody knows the game, everybody knows the show. They are well versed…As a production team we are going to make them throw all that stuff out the window.” So basically – get ready for a season of twists.
“What we have planned for the season is so next level – you won’t be able to look away,” said Arisa. I am counting on it.
Big Brother Canada premieres tonight on Global TV at 9 PM MST/8 PM EST…Arisa will be wearing a navy and black dress as all the superfans walk into the house.