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Chef Spotlight: Steven Furgiuele

Steven-FurgiueleHaving always worked in a creative industry — from photography to music — creativity is an essential part of the man behind Fuge Fine Meat, Steven Furgiuele’s, process. To create his artisan cured salumi and unique sausages, he draws inspiration from the people in his life. “My wife is Brazilian, so I’ve been to Brazil a few times and I love their use of cilantro, coriander, coconut — all that kind of stuff,” Furgiuele says. “So I have a Brazilian salami I’m developing right now.”

Most of his offerings are available at the new OTTO Food & Drink, and its signature OTTO Dog was inspired by the owner, Ed Donszelmann. “I asked him about his cultural background, where his family was from, and I researched the towns to find spices and things that they used in those regions,” Furgiuele explains. “And I created the OTTO dog: smoked Sylvan Star Gouda bratwurst with a lot of caraway.”

Furgiuele made the jump from music to cooking after being inspired while watching Hell’s Kitchen. “I really appreciated Gordon Ramsay’s standards, his uncompromising nature when he was doing his show, and his extreme attention to detail.” Those characteristics transfer into his food at Fuge, but they’ve been ingrained in Furgiuele since he was a kid. “My dad is one of the hardest-working dudes I’ve ever known in my life, an unbelievably hard-working immigrant guy,” he says. “He would work straight 12-hour days, and then go home to this massive garden, which was half the size of our backyard, and maintain it.” His father would also pickle vegetables, make tomato sauce, and — of course — cure salami, which the young Furgiuele helped with. When he started curing his own meats while at Culina, he says, “I realized I’d done this thing my entire life: I was going back to my roots.”

When not enjoying his own food, Furgiuele’s a fan of the ramen at Nudoru. He also admires the work done at Chartier. “The bread is phenomenal!” he raves. “And their smoked meat sandwich — I wish I lived next door.”

– Matthew Stepanic

Alberta Ballet’s Alice in Wonderland


Courtesy Alberta Ballet

Nothing is impossible in Alberta Ballet’s fantastical presentation of Alice in Wonderland! This delightfully fun performance follows Lewis Carroll’s timeless heroine into a world where flowers come to life, rabbits are always late, and the Mad Hatter loves to throw tea parties. The stage is brought to life thanks to colourful sets and costumes, an opulent score, the magic of innovative technology, and English-style choreography.
– Lindsay Shapka

Alice in Wonderland | March 24 & 25
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-429-1000

ESO’s Tribute to the Music of Prince

Prince-BannerHailed as “a master architect of fun, rock, R&B, and pop,” Prince was a pop star who defied categories of genre and gender. The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra will honour his eclectic and legendary music at A Tribute to the Music of Prince. Conductor Raymond Baril will lead vocalist Mackenzie Green and the ESO in this evening that will highlight the artist’s flamboyant style and showmanship. From “Purple Rain” to “Little Red Corvette,” take in all the colours of this diverse artist’s repertoire!

A Tribute to the Music of Prince | March 20 & 21
Winspear Centre | 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square. | 780-428-1414

Ask the Expert: Les Clefs d’Or Corner (March/April 2017)


Photo by Jamie Tweedy of Tweedy Studios.

We asked Edmonton expert and Les Clefs d’Or Nella Mirante at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald for her advice about spring activities and shopping in the city!

1. Where would you send a guest if they need to buy a cocktail dress for a last-minute event? Or a new dress shirt and tie?
I like to send our female guests to Holts when they need a cocktail dress for that last-minute event. And for men, my go-to is The Helm — great service and attire for all occasions.

2. Where can visitors pick up unique Easter treats for their family?
My fave local chocolate place is Jacek! You can get some creative tasty ideas for Easter and maybe even sample a few of their handcrafted chocolates.

3. Where is the best spot in the city to have a pint on St. Patrick’s Day?
The best place to have a Guinness on St. Patty’s Day is at Edmonton’s oldest and most authentic Irish Pub — O’Byrnes on Whyte Avenue!

4. It’s Earth Day on April 22. Where should visitors go to embrace Edmonton’s great outdoors?
Unplug everything electronic and head to our river valley with snowshoes or bikes and explore the great outdoors!

Les Clefs d’Or Concierges have been opening doors for hotel guests in Canada since 1976, and today there are more than 150 members from coast to coast and more than 3,500 members worldwide! You can find Nella at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.

Edmonton Opera’s Elektra

Elektra-Courtesy-Edmonton-OperaAfter her father Agamemnon is murdered in cold blood, Elektra falls into psychological turmoil and becomes disturbingly obsessed with revenge in Edmonton Opera’s dark season closer, Elektra. As the music follows and marks the fury that unravels her sinister mind, Elektra slowly inches closer to her target: her mother Klytämnestra. The production is sung in German with projected English surtitles, and ESO’s new chief conductor, Alexander Prior, will conduct Richard Strauss’s spine-chilling score. Though revenge is best served cold, you can expect nothing but heat from these powerhouse singers as they retell this tragic tale. —Matthew Stepanic

Elektra | March 11, 14 & 16
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
 | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-429-1000

Making Prints in Edmonton


Image by Liz Ingram

In collaboration with the SNAP Gallery and print artist Liz Ingram, the University of Alberta Museums is hosting the International Print Exhibition: Canada and Japan, which is organized by the Kyoto Print Exhibition Executive Committee. For the first time in Canada (it was first displayed in Japan in October of 2016), this exhibition will display more than 150 contemporary prints by Canadian and Japanese artists that show the trends and innovations being made in printmaking in both countries. —Lindsay Shapka

International Print Exhibition: Canada and Japan | Through March 25
University of Alberta Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square | 10230 Jasper Ave. | 780-492-5834.

7 Spots for Downtown Dining Week in Edmonton

Steak 8

A steak at Atlas Steak + Fish.

From March 10 to 19 this year, downtown will become a dining paradise as local restaurants in the city centre show off their culinary creativity and offer multi-course meals at discount prices. Many of the spots listed here will have a steal of a meal deal at special prices of $15, $28, and $45. Visit the Downtown Business Association’s website for sample menus and a full list of participating restaurants.

1. Indulge in the rotisserie-style meats at Mexican hot spot Rostizado. Besides the flavourful pork and chicken, the cauliflower pan-roasted in pork fat and the smoked russet potatoes whipped with manchego cheese are divine sides.

2. Dine surrounded by stunning art with the innovative menu at Zinc Restaurant in the Art Gallery of Alberta. Each dish is plated creatively, such as the Arctic Char with amarosa potato, wild boar bacon, and confit tomatoes — you may feel a slight guilt wrecking the plating with your fork, but all regrets will be gone once you taste it!

3. The elegant Hardware Grill features regional cuisine paired well with their award-winning (but still approachable) wine list. You’ll be satisfied by a perfect pairing for their Lacquered Duck Breast and House Duck Sausage — with mascarpone potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash — and all of their fine entrées.

4. Hankering for a quality cut of meat? Visit Atlas Steak + Fish in the Grand Villa Casino, where steaks are slow-grilled in a Josper oven — which is a combined charcoal grill and oven — including the 48 oz. Tomahawk steak. You’ll need to bring someone to share it with!

5. A contemporary Italian restaurant, The Parlour offers signature wood-fired pizzas and the option to craft our own with a list of artisan ingredients. Their balanced wine list is served on tap and is half-off on Wednesdays.

6. Located in the Union Bank Inn, Madison’s Grill provides an elegant space and dining experience. Find a solid wine list that’s ready to pair with entrées such as Roast Duck Breast with a crisp skin, complimented by orange braise anise and a pomegranate reduction.

7. The must-try dish at De Dutch is the Pannekoeken: a large Dutch pancake served in a dozen varieties, from the savoury Canadian with bacon, tomatoes, and eggs to sweet Peach Melba with fruit topping and whipped cream. Lunchtime offers more traditional Dutch dishes with quality, nutritious ingredients.

3 Must-Catch SkirtsAfire Events in Edmonton


Photo by Lordski

The SkirtsAfire Festival (March 9-12, 2017) is an empowering event that celebrates the work of women in the arts, from theatrical and musical performances to visual art shows. If you’re having trouble choosing from the amazing line-up, check out our list of highlights!

1. The Mommy Monologues

If you think you know all there is to know about mothers and their lives, think again. Ten Edmonton women will share their perspectives and shatter those stereotypes about motherhood.
Through March 12 | 7:30 pm | Cabaret Theatre, Alberta Avenue Community League (9210-118 Ave.)

2. Words Unzipped: Black Girl Magic

The best of Edmonton’s spoken word poets and performance artists come together in this interdisciplinary spoken word event. Come celebrate the resilient and open magic of Black women, and be prepared to be captivated.
Friday, March 10 | 7:30 pm | The Nina Haggerty Gallery (9225-118 Ave.)

3. A-Line Variety Show
Can’t decide? Want to sample a bit of everything? Then this show is for you! Enjoy the jam-packed line-up of music, dance, comedy, spoken word, and even some surprises along the way.
Thursday, March 9 | 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm | Cabaret Theatre, Alberta Avenue Community League (9210-118 Ave.)

For more information and to buy tickets to these events, please visit the SkirtsAfire website.

BalletBoyz’s Dance of Life & Death


Photo by Hugo Glendinning.

Ten male dancers unify power and sensitivity in the thrilling U.K. dance troupe, BalletBoyz. The Canadian premiere of this breathtaking work by internationally acclaimed choreographers Javier de Frutos and Pontus Lindberg creates a profound and gripping look into contemporary dance. In this performance, titled Life, the dancers’ superior athleticism create visceral stories that illustrate a conversation around life and death. You’ll walk — or dance — away both moved and provoked to see the world around you in a dynamic new way. Visit Alberta Ballet’s website for tickets.

Life by BalletBoyz | February 24 & 25
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 1-844-355-9494

Talent Spotlight: Sheri Somerville


Photo by Ryan Parker Photography.

When she was a young girl, Sheri Somerville went to a screening of The Sound of Music, and after she witnessed Julie Andrews dancing and singing up the hill, she knew she wanted to become a performer. “I saw my future and my whole head nearly exploded,” recounts Somerville. After several repeat viewings and sing-alongs, she discovered she had a strong voice, and her mother signed her up for music lessons.

After studying in several prestigious music programs in the country, Somerville’s career shifted when a musical director introduced her to obscure showtunes. They put together a revue for a nightclub act, and Somerville began to perform around the world in cities such as Paris and Hong Kong. However, once she had her first baby, she decided to return to Edmonton so her family could help raise her son while she continued her career. “As a woman who was raising two children while trying to have a career, Edmonton and the women and families in the community allowed me to have my career by keeping my children safe,” says Somerville. “I feel a debt of gratitude to give back to the city who gave me so much and allowed me to have a wonderful career as a performing artist.”

She describes her current role as the executive director for Citie Ballet as an “arts matchmaker.” “I reach out into the community and I bring in ideas,” explains Somerville. Though it may seem odd for someone who’s used to being centre stage to move to this background role, Somerville believes one influences the other. “It’s only because I’ve had a career in music with some dance and lots of theatre that I understand the dynamics of what’s necessary on stage to create something memorable and meaningful.”

Somerville still spends time in the spotlight though. On top of continuing to record new music, she regularly performs with Die-Nasty, the live improvised soap opera. “It’s hard for me to give up meeting some of the most talented people in Edmonton every night and playing together,” says Somerville. “It keeps me creatively sharp.”

Visit Citie Ballet’s website to learn more about their upcoming performance. —Matthew Stepanic

Winter Fun in Edmonton

Winter-Fun-TubingEmbrace the season with these cold-weather activities!

Skate Outside!
Lace up your skates and glide under the stars at one of the city’s free outdoor rinks!

Alberta Legislature | 10820-98 Ave.
Head to the back of the building where part of the grounds has been converted into larger rinks perfect for a pickup game of hockey!
City Hall | 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
The fountain in front of City Hall is converted into a skating rink that features music and light displays. Skate rentals are available.
Victoria Park Oval & IceWay | 12130 River Valley Rd.
Nestled in the River Valley, this protected outdoor rink is the home of the Edmonton Speed Skating Association, but is also open to the public. You can access the IceWay from the oval, which features a 3-loop skating trail that weaves its way through Victoria Park.
Hawrelak Park | 9330 Groat Rd.
Take a turn around the huge frozen pond in Hawrelak Park that is all lit up at night in the winter. There is a heated change room and skate rentals available.

Ski Hills & Trails
Whether it’s the thrill that comes with careening at break-neck speed down the slopes, or the quiet communing with nature that comes from gliding on cross-country skis that you are after, Edmonton can deliver both!

The Edmonton Ski Club (9613-96 Ave.), Rabbit Hill (25512 Township Rd., Leduc County), Snow Valley (13204-45 Ave.), or Sunridge Ski Area (10980-17 St.) will supply you with all the downhill thrills you ache for, while the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club will help you track down some perfectly groomed cross-country trails.

Go Sledding!
Grab a sled (and your inner child) and head to Emily Murphy Park (11904 Emily Park Road), Gallagher Park (97 Ave. and 92 St.), or  (2903-113 Ave.) for some of the best tobogganing in town!

—Lindsay Shapka

Interview with Edmonton Artist Emily Chu

Emily-ChuWHERE Edmonton: Why art? What made you want to be an artist?
Emily Chu: I look at art and design as a form of visual communication, as a challenge to balance between clarity and creativity. Being a visual person, I really enjoy these types of challenges. As well, I love to constantly experiment with different mediums and improve on my craft.

W: Did you go to school for art? Do you have any professional training?
E: Yes, I went to ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design) for their Visual Communications program. I majored in Illustration.

W: What mediums do you work in/prefer?
E: Most of my commercial work is digital. However, I also have a background in painting, so I often paint with gouache.

W: What is your favourite subject to paint or illustrate?
E: A lot of my works are inspired by nature. Stylistically, I love working with colours, textures, and patterns. I tend to create images that are light-hearted and fun.

Emily-Chu-IllustrationW: What do you want to create that you haven’t yet?
E: So much! I’m always wanting to do more personal work — paintings, another graphic novel/zine, etc. I also love seeing my work on products, so I’m hoping to create a stationary set in the near future.

W: Where can readers view or purchase your work?
E: I sell my work in person at local markets, through my online store, and in various gift and comic stores in the city (Happy Harbor Comics, Vivid Print, TIX on the Square, to name a few). For updates of my markets/event listings, you can follow my Instagram: @heyemilychu, or you can visit my website to view my work and my online store.