Calgary - ARTS & CULTURE
April 7th, 2010
For most of us, a hello in the elevator is rare, never mind borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbour, but for the residents of two Calgary buildings, neighbourly love is the norm.
In her new book The Building Project, photographer Heather Saitz shot the residents and tight-knit creative community of the historical 13th Avenue Moxam and Congress apartment buildings. Nearly two years in the making, the project documents the lives and spaces of the artists, musicians, actors, writers and stylists who live and play in one of the 35 apartments, including Saitz herself.
Large-scale prints are on display at Gallery 101 until April 29; opening reception is Friday where signed books will be available ($45). www.davidwalkerwines.com/gallery101.html
March 17th, 2010
Unless you hail from Winnipeg or are in the indie-music know, the name John K. Samson might not ring a bell. But as the frontman and songwriter for The Weakerthans, you’ve probably heard his soothing and melodic voice many of times.
Last November, Samson released a three-song solo record titled City Route 85, inspired by his Winnipeg home. He plays an acoustic set this Sunday and we'll be singing along to his set (off key, of course).
Tickets $28.25 at Ticketmaster. John K. Samson, March 21, 2010, 8 p.m., Rozsa Centre, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, 403-220-5421
March 3rd, 2010
You swear you’ll never use it but the ominous phrase, “When I was your age,” will inevitably become part of your vocabulary one day.
And nothing reminds us of that more than Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By by Anna Jane Grossman.
Through a collection of short essays and illustrations, the author covers more than 100 everyday items, ideas and trends that are quickly disappearing. Take a walk down memory lane with mixed tapes, camera film, boom boxes and handwritten letters.
Grossman even tempts fate by announcing the book itself fits the bill. Touché!
$15.12 at Amazon.ca
February 22nd, 2010
If you think you can dance, wait until you see this year’s line-up at the annual Alberta Dance Explosions Festival.
With one week left, there’s still time to take in all the contemporary dance action starting Wednesday. Each night, a handful of performers will take the stage and bring to life the work of one of the 12 featured choreographers.
Be warned, the evening may leave you feeling like you have two left feet.
Alberta Dance Explosions, February 24-27, for tickets call 403-244-0950 or www.dswlive.ca
February 17th, 2010
Vanessa Porteous, artistic director of Alberta Theatre Projects, has the inside guide to the top 5 things you need to know about this year’s playRites Festival fest.
1. Opening this Saturday, The Highest Step In the World by Eric Rose and David van Belle (pictured) is the 99th world premiere held at the festival since it launched.
2. What do a chisel, a love letter, a flight suit, and a wax figure of Abraham Lincoln all have in common? Each object changes someone’s life forever, in each of the four plays premiering at the festival.
3. Come early to check out Each Other, a performance installation in progress by Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton in the Martha Cohen Theatre lobby. Take one of the handmade objects away with you and follow the instructions. You become part of the art.
4. Don’t miss Blitz Weekend (Canada 's best theatre party) March 5-7. Eat pancakes in the lobby, hear artists talk about their work and listen to readings of new plays in progress.
5. Join in on a barely civilized food fight this Friday during the Lawson Lundell Celebrity Hors D’oeuvres fundraising event. Some of the city’s best restaurants pair up with Calgary celebrities who then compete to see who can sell the most appies.
Until March 7, tickets at www.atplive.com or call 403-294-7402.
February 3rd, 2010
Technically it’s a playlist on our iPod, but to honour the old-school medium, here’s our top five tunes by Calgary acts we can’t seem to get enough of recently.
1. “Morningside” off Woodpigeon's just released album Die Stadt Muzikanten. While at Nina Ricci, designer Olivier Theyskens used a song off Woodpigeon’s first album for his spring/summer 2009 runway show.
2. “Had Enough of It” by The Dudes. Former Calgarian and Broken Social Scene songstress Lisa Lobsinger makes an appearance on this tune from their 2009 Blood Guts Bruises Cuts, the rock ode to the band’s tough year.
3. “Anatomical Literacy” by Jordan Klassen. This young artist released his first full-length album, Tempest and Winter, last year and had us swooning over his charming melodies with the first listen.
4. “New Years Eve” by Dojo Workhorse. We dare you to try not to sing along to this feel-good tune by Dan Vacon’s other ensemble (he’s also part of The Dudes). We so hope “she” kissed him that fateful New Year’s Eve.
5. “Suzie I Love You” by Michael Bernard Fitzgerald. With that raspy voice and adorable look, Fitzgerald makes us all wish we were named Suzie.
All songs available on iTunes.
January 28th, 2010
We admit we've making regular trips to Edmonton since the opening of Anthropologie, but now there’s another A-gamer to make the trip to E-town for.
More than four years in the works, the new Art Gallery of Alberta opens this Sunday. The impressive 85,000-square-foot space now houses double the exhibition area from the previous gallery, an education centre, restaurant, theatre and outdoor terrace. The inaugural exhibits run until the end of May and include works by renowned artists Edgar Degas, Franciso Goya and Yousuf Karsh.
This time, the trip is all about art.
Art Gallery of Alberta, 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, 780-422-6223, www.youraga.ca
January 20th, 2010
The 25-year mark often results in a quarter-life crisis for those fearing the inevitable adulthood, but CJSW isn’t letting a number stand in its way of rocking out like the good old days.
In honour of 25 years on air, the 90.9 FM station is celebrating this Saturday with a mega birthday bash, 25 bands, 25 Bucks, 25 Years.
U of C’s MacEwan Hall will be filled with beloved Calgary bands, past and present, performing throughout the night.
On the scene acts like Matt Masters, Dojo Workhorse and Woodpigeon (pictured) will join old-school rockers reuniting like The Ripchords, Shecky Forme and Mico for an evening of Calgary rock from the last 25 years.
Reminiscing about old times is certainly expected.
25 Years on the Dial, Saturday, January 23 at 7 p.m. at MacEwan Hall, tickets here.
January 13th, 2010
Much to their chagrin, the residents of Vulcan, Alberta did not host the Star Trek movie premiere last year, but to remedy some of the disappointment, tonight, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra presents Star Trek: The Music.
With former Star Trek cast members John de Lancie (Q) and Robert Picardo (The Doctor) hosting, the CPO will perform musical highlights from the TV series and films. The lobby décor will be full-on Trekkie-approved with details from the sets, and costumes are welcome.
Live long and prosper, ladies.
Till Friday, January 15 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. For tickets, call the CPO Box Office at 403-571-0849 or here.
January 6th, 2010
Die-hard fans of Tegan and Sara will remember the homegrown duo playing at the old Blue Banana Lounge at the University of Calgary in the late ’90s.
Thankfully, the sisters have graduated to bigger and better things. Their sixth studio album, Sainthood, was released in late October and the band has just embarked on a North American tour making a stop in Calgary this weekend for a double header Friday and Saturday.
The new album is a mix of sing-along, bob your head tunes with enough edge to add that authentic rock ’n’ roll feel.
We love a good sister act.