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Edmonton

Artist Spotlight: Allan Bailey

Allan-Bailey

Courtesy Allan Bailey.

From just outside of Edmonton, photographer Allan Bailey has been producing work professionally for the last 17 years, but has always been interested in photography. “My dad was an avid photographer when I was young and so the gear was always around. As I got older, I enjoyed drawing, building things, working on cars — I just really like being creative. Photography was an outlet for me to do that.”

Bailey’s work celebrates all that is beautiful in rural Alberta, but not in a traditional way. He likes to focus on the details of an object or a space to make the shot more contemporary and evoke a feeling or memory. “I try to make the typical ‘field with clouds and a barbed wire fence’ shot a little different,” says Bailey, “whether it is looking at it from a different perspective, upside down, or backwards. I just like to make things look different than what is initially obvious about them.”

He must be doing something right, as he was named the 2015 Alberta Photographic Artist of the Year by the Professional Photographers of Canada, and won the 2016 National Photographic Artist of the Year Award.

A844-M_Stray

Courtesy Allan Bailey.

You can view his work from June 23 until July 8 at the Bugera Matheson Gallery, where he will be showing a collection of stunning shots that were taken with his iPhone 5s during a year-long project that involved shooting a meaningful photo every day and posting them on social media.

Atmosphere | June 23 – July 8
With an extensive background in photography, Allan Bailey was recently nominated for the National Photographer of the Year award by the Professional Photographers of Canada. This exhibition showcases photos from his trip across Alberta, all of which he captured on his iPhone.
Bugera Matheson Gallery | 10345-124 St. | 780-482-2854

Exercise Beyond the Gym in Edmonton

AGA-Yoga-Photo-by-Jamie-Tweedy-of-Tweedy-Studios

Photo by Jamie Tweedy of Tweedy Studios.

If dragging yourself to the gym for a monotonous 30 minutes on the treadmill seems like the last thing you want to do, why not shake things up a bit with one of these unconventional workouts?

Yoga in the AGA
The instructor will help you calm your mind as you move through a series of poses while surrounded by the inspiring works of some of the world’s most celebrated artists. Each class takes place in a different exhibition space at the Art Gallery of Alberta, allowing you to view the art while also getting a great workout. The drop-in fee for classes is $10, and they are suitable for all levels. Visit the website for a schedule and more information.

Surfing in the Prairies
Hang-10 at The Surf Studio, which combines fat burning, muscle building, balance, and core training in one 45-minute class on top of a custom made, unstable surfboard! Both high-intensity and yoga-based workouts are offered. Drop-in classes are $17.85. Visit the website for more information.

Join a Biker Gang
Based on the popular Soul Cycle model, the 50-minute spin classes offered at YEG Cycle will kick your butt. The room is lit only by small strings of lights that change colour throughout the class, the music is loud, and the energy is amazing. Specialty bike shoes are required, but are included in your drop-in fee of $19. Visit the website for more information.

Walk of Art on 124 St.

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Summer Lake XI by Pat Service, acrylic on canvas 48×36.

For two days every spring, the art galleries on 124 Street open their doors for the biannual Gallery Walk. This inspiring event brings live entertainment, snacks, and artists to the galleries and encourages the public to experience some fantastic works by very talented artists like Pat Service (pictured), whose colourful work can be found at the Scott Gallery. Take advantage of the gorgeous spring sunshine this weekend and explore the art of the city! Visit the website for more information.

Spring Gallery Walk | April 16: 10 am – 5:30 pm & April 17: 12 pm – 4 pm
124 St. between 103 Ave. & Stony Plain Rd.

5 Must-Catch Events at Edmonton Poetry Festival

Edmonton-Poetry-Festival-Photo-by-Randall-Edwards-3

Photo by Randall Edwards.

More than just rhymes and structure, poetry is an exciting force that connects communities and offers new insights into old problems. Coinciding with National Poetry Month every year, the Edmonton Poetry Festival celebrates poetry in all its forms — from haiku to spoken word — at engaging and unique events that lift the words off the page. This year’s festival boasts 41 events on the theme of “becoming”, and here are some of our picks for your best bets!

1. Everything but the Kitchen Blinks | April 18 | 7 pm
With only 30 seconds to read, poets attempt to impress with their best and briefest words in this rapid-fire poetry challenge.
The Mercury Room | 10575-114 St.

2. Poetry Becomes Identity | April 19 | 5 pm
At this showcase of queer poets, learn how labels help or harm identities—featuring celebrated American poet Richard Siken.
The Mercury Room | 10575-114 St.

3. Poetry Becomes Art | April 20 | 6 pm
Three poets, including Armand Garnet Ruffo, explore how their visual art interplays with their poetry. A private guided tour of the art gallery will follow the discussion.
The Art Gallery of Alberta | 2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq.

4. That Becomes You | April 21 | 5:30 pm
Local literary magazine Glass Buffalo hosts an engaging reading and discussion with four emerging writers about why they began writing poetry. Special guest Kayla Czaga will also read at the event.
Audreys Books | 10702 Jasper Ave.

5. Wine & Wild Women Wordsmiths | April 22 | 8:30 pm
Four talented female poets have each chosen a wine that pairs well with the complex flavours of their poetry. Enjoy both at this fun night of words and wine!
Latitude 53 | 10248-106 St.

The festival runs from April 17 to 24, and you can view the complete schedule of events on the website.

Author Spotlight: Todd Babiak

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Photo courtesy of HarperCollins Canada.

In this hotly anticipated sequel to Todd Babiak’s first political thriller Come Barbarians, security agent Christopher Kruse is dragged back down into the seedy underside of Parisian politics. After the murder of a charismatic politician, a young woman hires Kruse to hunt down the unknown assassin. Violence and deception — and a little bit of romance — await him at every turn.

Babiak’s previous bestsellers, including Toby: A Man and The Garneau Block, were more humourous tales,SonOfFrance so his venture into drama and espionage may seem like an odd move, but Babiak handles the shift with confidence. A nightmare was the catalyst for the genre switch; he was haunted by a dream about a car hitting and killing his daughter in the south of France. The draw of that story — which became Come Barbarians — was so strong that Babiak left his columnist job at The Edmonton Journal and uprooted his family to France for some authentic research.

Son of France is as high-energy as the first novel with many twists, cringe-worthy torture, and a few explosions. Follow Kruse as he treads down neglected Paris streets to uncover the city’s darker secrets and prepare yourself for several shocking surprises. Packed with grit and intrigue, this literary thriller is a satisfying novel with a character who is clearly not one-note. —Matthew Stepanic

For Culture Buffs in Edmonton

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Photo by Randall Edwards.

Festival City never disappoints, and there are exciting art festivals, cultural events, and more to experience year-round!

If you’re feeling a little more spontaneous, take in an experimental long-form improv show during Rapid Fire Theatre’s Bonfire Festival from April 5–9 at the Citadel Theatre or check out one of the company’s other on-going improv shows.

Immerse yourself in the thriving poetry scene, where venues around the city celebrate the written and spoken word. Edmonton Poetry Festival from April 17–24 is a great way to sample the varieties — enjoy free live readings every lunch hour in Churchill Square, poetry paired with science and music, workshops to hone your own skills, and events with various noteworthy poets, including the poet laureates from both Edmonton and Calgary. Or head to the Rouge Lounge on Tuesday nights for a poetry slam, where amateur and veteran poets alike have three minutes to impress audiences with their original works. If you’re more into stories than poetry (or even if you’re not), take in a competitive storytelling event. Story slams occur on the third Wednesday of the month at the Mercury Room. Writers have five minutes to tell an original, captivating story, and five judges are chosen randomly from the audience to rate each story in turn.

Fancy a pint or a glass of wine? Enjoy yours with a side of local musical talent! Wander down the notable Whyte Ave. and make your selection from countless options. Head to O’Byrne’s Irish Pub for your fundamental Celtic needs, Tavern on Whyte on Thursdays for softer acoustic sounds, or Blues on Whyte to swing your hips to some bluesy rhythms. Journey north to Brittany’s Lounge for their open genre variety stage, with a different night of the week dedicated to a different medium: visual, oratory, auditory, or movement. Prefer to sip on a relaxing coffee or tea instead? Saturdays at The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse mean a medley of local musicians, poets and comedians, and you can catch various jazz, folk, RnB, and indie musicians at Café Blackbird from Thursday to Saturday. Or start your Sunday off right with a jazz brunch at the Blue Chair Café. —Tamara Aschenbrenner

Chef Spotlight: Zinc’s David Omar

David-Omar1

Photo courtesy of David Omar.

An art gallery is the perfect place for creative expression, so it’s no wonder that Chef David Omar has been presenting his culinary creations as the executive chef of Zinc, located within the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Like many artists, Omar seeks and sees inspiration everywhere he goes, whether it’s collaborating with different chefs or merely walking down the street. The New Brunswick native looks particularly to other local chefs and restaurants, like Daravara and the Workshop Eatery, always searching for ways to stand out and learn. “Running a restaurant in Edmonton, you should be looking at other places, but really focusing on who’s your direct competition, partners in the industry,” he says. “This city has so many cool restaurants.”

The terms bored and boring do not sit well with Omar, whether in his own life or on a plate. The chef prefers to search for new challenges and opportunities and is regularly involved in various competitions and events throughout the year, such as Gold Medal Plates and Taste of Edmonton. He is particularly excited for the second year of Feast on the Field this summer, an outdoor dining event at Commonwealth Stadium that raises money for CapitalCare.

In terms of his cooking, Omar likes to ensure that he’s creating unique dishes, even if it’s just a fresh take on a familiar dish. For instance, Zinc’s new spring menu will include a twist on the classic pork and beans: succulent pork belly and white bean ragout with Gala apples, celery, and parsley. “It has to be the same and familiar so people recognize it, it has to be different so that it sets you aside, and it has to be new because the general public gets bored very, very easily,” says Omar. —Tamara Aschenbrenner

Western Canada Fashion Week

WCFW-_-LUXX-by-Lindsay-Thompson

Photo by Lindsay Thompson.

One of Western Canada’s longest running and most established fashion weeks, Western Canada Fashion Week is strutting into Edmonton to showcase local talents and international couturiers who will be unveiling their spring collections and giving you a glimpse into the latest fashion trends for the season. Contests for emerging designers, stylists, and fantasy hair and makeup artists will be taking place throughout the week, and the event will also feature unique collaborations, exciting parties, and exclusive sample sales. Tickets to runway shows are $25, and are available at the door or through TIX on the Square. Shows start at 8 pm at the ATB Financial Arts Barns; visit the website for a calendar of events.

Western Canada Fashion Week | March 24 – 31
ATB Financial Arts Barns | 10330-84 Ave. | 780-409-1910

Delectable Dishes at Downtown Dining Week in Edmonton

Where-Food_Nov-Dec-15Taste the varied flavours of downtown’s vibrant dining scene for a fraction of the cost! For 10 tasty days, participating eateries invite diners to enjoy a multi-course meal for a special price of $15, $28, or $48. Each restaurant creates a custom menu that shows off its culinary creativity with a selection of mouthwatering appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Participating restaurants include the artful Zinc Restaurant, the progressive Hardware Grill, the intimate Bodega Tapas & Wine Bar, and our third-place pick for 2015 Best New Restaurant, Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen. Find sample menus, a complete list of restaurants, and more information here.

5 Spots for a St. Patrick’s Day Pint in Edmonton

GreenBeer1. Your green pint will pair well with The Druid’s Irish Potato Nachos, which are house-cut crisps smothered in melted cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and more nacho fixings!
11606 Jasper Ave. | 780-454-9928

2. Fionn MacCool’s is imbued with Irish charm that will make you feel like you’re on the Green Island as you sip the Draught of the Day while enjoying a live Irish band.
Edmonton City Centre | 10200-102 Ave. | 780-424-4330

3. Gather with your friends at the trendy Kelly’s Pub, where pub fare’s always on order, including the soul-warming Dublin Coddle of fresh potatoes, carrots, and onion.
10156-104 St. | 780-452-8825

4. Start your festivities early at the welcoming neighbourhood pub Daravara — a hearty brunch of Chicken and Waffles will give you an excuse to have an early-morning pint.
10713-124 St. | 587-520-4980

5. With delicious upscale pub food and a friendly atmosphere, you don’t need the luck of the Irish to have a great time at the casual Central Social Hall.
10909 Jasper Ave. | 780-705-1900

—Matthew Stepanic

Return to Grace in Edmonton

Return-to-GraceExperience the life of the King of Rock and Roll in this musical extravaganza! This heartfelt tribute to Elvis Presley features iconic songs like “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and more than 30 talented performers that walk you through the life of the pop icon. From the King’s humble beginnings in Memphis to the historic Aloha from Hawaii concert, this incredible performance showcases the moments that changed rock and roll forever. There’s no need for “Suspicious Minds”—it’s a guarantee the show will blow you away!

Return to Grace | March 29 – April 2
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-427-2760

Canadian Painting in Edmonton

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Alex Janvier, High Hopes of a Liberal, 1974, acrylic on canvas, 90.5 x 122.5 cm. Courtesy of Janvier Gallery. © Alex Janvier. Photo credit: Don Hall.

If you were asked to picture “Canadian Art”, what would come to mind? For most of us, it would be either a traditionally carved and painted Haida mask, or a wilderness piece by one of the members of the Group of Seven. There is no denying the impact that both historic Aboriginal art and the more modern paintings by the famous seven have had, and continue to have, on Canada’s art scene. But there is a lot more to Canadian art than these stereotypes, and this spring the Art Gallery of Alberta is celebrating just that in two unique exhibitions.

Running through April 17, Out of the Woods: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven will be showcasing the works of not only Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and Frederick Varley, but also the man who was thought to have been a major inspiration to them all: Tom Thomson. Thomson tragically died by drowning before he was able to become a member of the group, which formed in 1920. Together, with the use of glowing colours, luminous backgrounds, and thick brushwork, they shared their post-impressionist view of the Canadian wilderness.

Unlike most Group of Seven exhibits, however, this show will not be displaying favourite landscapes of the northern wilderness. Instead, visitors will get a chance to view both rarely seen and familiar works that take you “out of the woods” to the Caribbean, cities, cottages, and the prairies.

Running at the same time, through July 3, is the exhibit 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. A groundbreaking cultural and political artist alliance, the seven Aboriginal artists showcased in this exhibit were dubbed the “Indian Group of Seven” by Winnipeg Free Press reporter Gary Scherbain when the group formed in 1973. Its members included Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Alex Janvier, Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Carl Ray, and Joseph Sanchez.

All professional, contemporary artists, this group stimulated a new way of thinking about contemporary First Nations peoples, their lives, and their art. This exhibition has drawn from both private and public collections to bring together more than 80 paintings and drawings from the 1970s that show how experimental and groundbreaking these artists really were. —Lindsay Shapka

Want more Group Of Seven?

The Alberta Legislature is hosting the exhibit Alberta and the Group of Seven: Teachers, Students and Colleagues through May 23. This free show features works by the Group, as well as works from Alberta’s first generation of professional artists.

Bearclaw Gallery has an exhibit, called Group of Seven (PNIA), featuring new and old collectible works by the pioneers of the “Native Art” movement who make up the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., including Alex Janvier, Joseph Sanchez, Daphne Odjig, and more until March 15!