ISSUE 2 | VOLUME 2 | 2009
ISSUE 2 | VOLUME 2 | 2009
ON THE COVER PHOTO • Clayton Didier MODEL • Dawn Hiron of Mode Models CLOTHING • Swish ACCESSORIES • Swish HAIR • Kelly Bula MAKEUP • Nicola Gavins
PARLOUR LIFE 09 VIN ROOM sip on this
LIGHTS! KEYBOARD! ACTION!
an Intergalactic Electro-Pop Star in the fourth dimension PARLOUR MUSIC 12 RYE RYE M.I.A.’s teen prodigy from Baltimore
follow Alice through a maniacal spin in the city PARLOUR INSPIRATION 14 SESSA her name’s Tressa, she makes Sessa, and she owns Meese - got it?
15 KAADIKI designer Haithem Elkadidiki rocks menswear in Cowtown 34 NURSE FIGHTER BOY A Q&A on inspirational Canadian film
PARLOUR STYLE 18 SUMMER BEAUTY enter the Glamazon
PARLOUR STORIES 32 LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL Parlour writer Caroline Gault finds the beauty in experience 37 TURKISH DELIGHT Andrew Nguyen gets taken for a ride
PARLOUR FAVOURITES 38 PROMENADE who’s who, and what’s what
40 PARLOUR’S PRIZED POSSESSIONS favourites to add to your collection
EDITOR’S LETTER The summer sun is kissing a Saturday afternoon, and where am I? I’m at home, our temporary summer office, working away, and I couldn’t be happier. Touching up the magazine and perfecting our tans while the Parlour boys get inebriated on beer (I actually think they work better tipsy) is exactly what I want to be doing. The people who share this crazy dream and are crazy enough to work their asses off to make this dream real are my Parlour family … please allow me to introduce them... Pete, our art director, a.k.a. the secret weapon, has been with me since the beginning. The two of us spent a year and a half together in a 10’ x 10’ office creating Parlour and developing our own secret language. I consider Pete a creative genius, but don’t tell him or it might get to his head. The lovely Andrea attended the Parlour Magazine launch party and over a couple of cocktails I knew her quirky, heartfelt voice was a perfect fit with Parlour. We quickly became girlfriends, spending countless afternoons over cappuccinos discussing what Parlour wants to say, and how to say it. Andrea gives Parlour its passionate, playful, and positive voice. Caroline, Parlour’s self-proclaimed #1 fan, won us over with her bright enthusiasm and positive attitude. It was her first assignment, an interview with Lady Gaga, that earned her a gold star. Since then Caroline has integrated herself in every aspect of Parlour, everywhere I go I bring my Caroline. Caroline brings energy and life into Parlour and keeps this unpredictable machine moving forward. And the incredible Clayton … one spring afternoon a random photographer walked into our office and miraculously understood the foreign language Pete and I tend to speak. Since then we’ve been inseparable. When this mastermind is not picking apart my brain, he’s talking about the process. I’ve come to the conclusion that Clayton’s all talk and I’m all action, but his insane attention to detail makes us understand that we
need to honour the process to grow. He’s also very nice to look at. Together, we’ve cooked up a summer issue that’s a collaborative effort from as many ingredients as we could find. While our photo spread, “In Wonderland,” is probably the epitome of collaboration, our intern Jenny added a spark to the magazine with her inspiring article on the Canadianmade movie, Nurse Fighter Boy. It was, however, a typical day at Leva where this issue all began... I was describing my fear that beauty is lost with age, and Caroline had the great idea of telling her Grandmother’s story - a lady whom she adores and refers to as “Mamó.” I love that Parlour has become a space where people can express themselves on so many different levels; from the designers, to the photographers, to those innovative individuals that inspire our Favourite’s page, Parlour is a pedestal to show the world what we can do. It’s time to unite and celebrate all the talent in this city. I am so excited to announce that on September 11th Parlour will be joining forces with the Winspear Centre and our sponsor, Hennessy, to bring you Our Voice – a creative celebration. There will be tons of performances, a huge fashion show, and a dynamic gathering of global citizens supporting the Global Youth Assembly (www.youthassembly.ca). I can’t say enough what a big deal this venue is for all the local talent - and what an amazing party it’s going to be. The best part is that it’s for a great cause - raising money for the Global Youth Assembly can only be a plus. I hope you can join us and share the experience. Sincerely, Shelly Solarz P.S. I jumped on the bandwagon and started my own blog. I think I’ve created a monster... www.missparlour.blogspot.com
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 11 2009
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Shelly Solarz firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Publisher/Writer Caroline Gault email@example.com Art Director Peter Nguyen firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Andrea Dorrans email@example.com Photo Editor Clayton Didier firstname.lastname@example.org Writers Sandy Karpetz, Jenny McConnell, Andrew Nguyen, Nicola Gavins, Lauren Hughes Photographers Clayton Didier, Eric Newby, Lillian Patz, Hanson Ng, Michael Magnan, Alanna Farrow Interns Jenny McConnell, Alanna Farrow, Georgia Venner
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from publisher. The views expressed in Parlour Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the publisher. Printed in Canada
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TEXT • Andrea Dorrans PHOTO • Michael Magnan
Yes. The word escapes my lips as I swallow a mouthful of Tawse vineyard’s 2006 Echoes Chardonnay. The vigor of my reaction surprises me – moments earlier I trudged down the street, exhausted after an impossible week – but this wine is perfection. Vin Room’s wine director, Karen Kho, has selected three two-ounce pours for my Chardonnay flight, and I’m quite sure she’s psychic. Countless times I’ve described to servers and bartenders what I’m after – something rich, mineral(ly), smooth – only to be assaulted by something sharp and acidic (have you ever gone to drink ginger-ale but it’s really scotch and soda?). Calgary’s Vin Room (2310 4st SW) is the latest in an onslaught of “wine bars” to hit Cowtown. But Vin Room is peerless. Eight state-of-the-art Enomatic machines (the largest system in Canada) preserve an open bottle of wine for up to 24 days. At Vin Room, 64 wines are available by the taste. Co-owner Phoebe Fung calls the two-ounce options “indulgence without commitment,” I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that. Siblings Phoebe and Ken Fung discovered their inspiration for Vin Room while on a trip to Houston, Texas. Over a bottle of Cake Bread Cabernet Sauvignon in Houston’s Asian wine-bistro, ‘Kattan’, they found their niche. “I love wine,” Phoebe flashes a Cheshire grin, “it’s not complicated.” What began as a sabbatical from a 15-year career in Oil and Gas has become permanent. Vin Room offers a simple small-plate menu. Chef Kai Salimaki redesigns
the tasting menu every six to eight weeks to complement the wine; the results are decadent, delicious. The lobster salad, fresh oysters, and pain perdu are fabulous (just to name a few). And the setting of Vin Room is swank. The newly finished second-storey patio evokes a lazy sun-drenched afternoon on the Italian Riviera. Check it out on a Tuesday evening for sommelier Karen Kho’s Vin U, an innovative wine class—to register just call. A five-month renovation transformed the interior of Calgary’s beloved Mission Cycle into one of our city’s sexiest lounges. Sally Healy designed the eclectic furniture; leather benches resemble 18th Century carriage seats, and petal-pink chairs look like petite fours. Colourful paintings by local socialite, Brad Harms, adorn the walls. The architecture is clean and the lighting catches an endless gleam from the wine bottles and glasses that seem to cover every surface. If you’re still not convinced, I have two words – Champagne Sundays. Not only does Vin Room have eight Enomatic machines, they have four Perlage machines. At Vin Room Champagne is available by the glass. See you there.
TEXT • Sandy Karpetz
It’s a brisk evening in Champion City and I’m one of many waiting in anticipation in the basement of Edmonton’s Starlite Room - Victory Lounge, Velvet Underground, or whichever name du jour the bar has. What I am about to encounter is an enigmatic and endearing girl whose music speaks for itself, from conception to delivery, she’s got it all under control, she is LIGHTS.
I realize I’ve been oblivious - I knew LIGHTS’ music way before I knew who she was. “February Air” was the soundtrack to an Old Navy commercial that was practically on repeat all through February of last year, and the music video for the tune is on heavy rotation on Much Music. A spacey video features her on a planet playing a galactic synth and interacting with a space man. “You know that’s my Dad in the spacesuit?” LIGHTS clues me in on the family ties. Post soundcheck, pre show (for the tour that is supposed to raise money to buy a birthday present for her pet spider, Lance), I was able to have a word with LIGHTS and get down to the heavy questions – favourite accessories, shoes, and comic book heroines. LIGHTS sums up her years of hard work in minutes. She wrote her first song at age 11 and has been at it ever since: “I was writing for two years and then I realized I had so many ideas for what I wanted around my songs like all the sound effects, and it was so much more than just the song.” At 18 she moved from British Columbia to Toronto to pursue her artistic aspirations. In T.O. she sought out space-enthusiast band members to complete the sound she imagined. Tough interviews were held in neutral territory - Starbucks - and eligible candidates were judged not only on ability, but also on the type of footwear they sported. “You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes” LIGHTS enlightens me. After countless exhausting interviews, LIGHTS found her sole mates - once together, the trio brought “intergalactic electro-pop” to the stage. At the Starlite room every song gets the audience pogo-ing while sporting LIGHTS headbands and singing along. Her music is the great equalizer for the diverse and colourful crowd (I half expect to see my mom and maybe even my sister there). The song “Ice” is the pop anthem for anyone in a dysfunctional relationship and will be the summer jam of 2009. Its catchy chorus accompanied with lyrical synth displays her raw talent for composing and performing. LIGHTS has definitely honed her skills since writing her first song: “In the bible there are like 150 Psalms,” she explains, “which are kind of like poems … So I asked my mom, ‘pick a number between one and 100’ and she said, ‘five’ … and I’m like here’s some words, I’ll put some music to it.”
She even does a cover of the Backstreet Boys song “I Want It That Way” that is so good, in fact, it might even be able to rekindle anyone’s love for BSB. Unlike some artists in the music scene, LIGHTS does not conform to the cleavageto-the-crotch look. She has her own sense of style comparable to a super heroine, a combination of all the best accessories of our favourite comic book ladies: a Wonder Woman headband, Barbarella boots, and a keytar I imagine to be She-Ra’s axe. Not only does she ACTUALLY write her own music, she designs all of her merchandise – an anomaly in the ever-growing popularity of produced bands that have zero control over their image. From the sleeve of her records to the replica of her trademark headbands (her favourite accessory) everything is from the singer herself. Apart from giving it all in her work, LIGHTS is not above keeping in touch with her fans. From twitter to weekly YouTube blogs featuring hand puppets, Lance the pet spider, and World of Warcraft characters, every milestone is documented in a sort of variety show fashion. She has even begun writing a comic book life-story – stay-tuned for installments on her website. It is a tale set in her favourite locale – outer space: “I think the thing that’s cool about it is that it’s so unknown, so you can invent anything you want to with space,” she says. It also includes Maury and Adam (her two band mates) illustrated “like a colourful little blob[s] with arms and big eyes and smiles.” LIGHTS’ version of aliens. Recently, LIGHTS bagged a Juno for Best New Artist and two nominations for “Pop Video of the Year” and “UR FAVE NEW ARTIST” at the Much Music Video Awards. Her touring schedule included a massive festival in Brighton called The Great Escape - said to be Europe’s leading music festival for new music. There, she played with the likes of Peter Bjorn & John, The Pipettes, and Vivian Girls. The festival was just one date in a handful of other appearances around the U.K. LIGHTS will not be falling off the radar anytime soon. Regarding her ever-growing popularity and fame, she is humble and grateful for all experiences coming her way – feature in Parlour included. She has made it, and has nowhere to go but up, up and beyond to the next galaxy, and I’m sure she wouldn’t want it any other way.
PHOTO • Hanson Ng
To be honest, we were a little intimidated to meet rap-sensation Rye Rye last June, but this Baltimore teen blew us away with her sweet, soft-spoken nature and open smile. It was only two years ago she signed a contract with M.I.A.’s label, N.E.E.T., after M.I.A. overheard one of Rye Rye’s tracks in the studio, and now, two years later, the eighteen-year-old is stomping around in loud tights and bringing a new voice to hip hop. So look out.
If you had a soundtrack to your life, what songs would be on it? R. Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly/ World’s Greatest • Miley Cyrus - The Climb • My song, of course - Shake It To The Ground • A pretty cool song - I think it’s called Life is a Highway... “I wanna ride it all night long” are the lyrics. I don’t know the actual title or person that sings it off hand. What or who is your style inspiration? M.I.A, Brian Lichtenberg, Jose, anything that’s patterned or bright/ crazy coloured & unique. Favourite shoe of all time? These patent shoes I got from overseas, they’re just the craziest look ever. They look like baby shoes. I can’t leave home without... My black leather jacket - I really like Michael Jackson. Worst job you’ve ever had? Um... never had a job besides the music career and I love it LOL. If you could work with anyone dead or alive, who would you pick? Michael Jackson, of course, & Aaliyah.
Model Nadine Parfett | Clothing Sessa, boots borrowed from Tressa | Accessories Meese Clothing Stylists Tressa Heckbert & Shelly Solarz | Hair Lauren Hughes of Mousy Browns | Makeup Aspen Zettel
TEXT • Caroline Gault PHOTO • Lillian Patz
MEESE One of the first things I notice about designer Tressa Heckbert is her laugh; it’s as contagious as it is genuine, and her smile seems to make the already sunny summer day just a little bit brighter. Over the next few hours—at a photo shoot featuring Tressa’s clothing line, Sessa, and a vintage red couch on the brim of a duck pond—I discover that my first impressions were bang on: Tressa is profoundly happy because she’s doing exactly what she finds most rewarding, and that’s a quality hard to find. Tressa is inspired by all things Canadian. Thus, it’s no surprise she conceptualized Sessa during a three-month hiatus at a lone, oceanside cottage in Prince Edward Island. Nor is it surprising that the name of her store, Meese Clothing, is a pun on one of Canada’s most iconic beasts. “We have [over 40] Canadian designers in here [...] covering men’s and women’s clothing, belting, jewelry, and scarves, to decorative pillows and body creams,” Tressa explains. “So we pluralized it. There’s ‘goose’ and ‘geese’ so we thought there should be ‘moose’ and ‘meese’.” Nestled in the heart of downtown St. Albert, next to a flowing river and cobblestone path, Meese Clothing is a home away from home, a cozy, intimate boutique that has the kind
of personalized touch only achieved through independent ownership. The sanguine surroundings speak loudly to Tressa’s artistic side, and she’s confident she’s hit the jackpot as far as locations go. “It’s pretty dreamy,” she says, “For me to have my studio and the window overlooking the river is pretty romantic.” It was just two years ago that Tressa and partner Evan Sterling pounced on the opportunity to integrate studio and retail space under one roof, allowing for the simultaneous drafting and sewing of Sessa, the styling of Meese patrons, and even the customization of imported Canadian garments to a desired fit. Sessa, Tressa’s first love, aims for classic shapes, feminine, flirty details and vintage, seasonless separates that flatter the female physique. “I really enjoy the curves of the woman’s figure,” she tells me, “so I really like to accentuate that [in my garments]. It’s my favourite part. That’s why I wanted to design in the first place. The woman’s figure is so beautiful and I didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t add to it.” I’m feeling a little dizzy after our afternoon in the sun, so I sit in the car for a breather. Tressa walks around to the passenger side, asks how I’m feeling, and flashes me another smile. This killer sunburn is all worth it.
TEXT • Andrea Dorrans
KaaDiki 16 PARLOUR
HAITHEM ELKADIKI BRINGS IT. Based in Calgary, Elkadiki’s world-class menswear line, KaaDiki, is flawlessly constructed, perfectly proportioned, and incredibly chic. His Spring/ Summer 2009 collection (his 11th to date) evokes tennis games and poolside cocktails; fitted trousers, clean-cut coats, and sexy tees emblazoned with rich emblems; the collection is prep-school cool in classic shades of summer. I met the Libyan-born, Toronto-bred designer in his studio on a breezy summer evening for a glass of wine and a little conversation.
Elkadiki on designing I’m miserable when I’m not doing it.
On his fashion roots I’ve been sketching from age 12 – what made me think about a career in fashion was a Christian Lacroix sketch. I was always interested in drawing and painting but didn’t know where I wanted to go in life. But after I saw that sketch I did.
On his first constructed garment It was a white shirt. I had just started my sewing class in design school. Doing the collar was hell – it was probably so bad.
On High-end fashion It looks so plain and expensive … and I want it, the more I look at it the more beautiful it becomes.
On his first show at Toronto Fashion Week (2003) I had no clue what I was doing, I knew people in Toronto, I asked a friend with a modeling agency to help me, I made it happen – I didn’t
On the Premium Trade Show in Berlin People walk by and you have no idea who they are. Before people say hi they look at your wrist [colour-coded wristbands] to see who you are – if you’re a buyer they’re really friendly, if you’re an exhibitor they’re like – whatever.
do it completely right, but at that time all I could do was a collection,
On Calgary’s fashion icons
and that in itself was too much.
James MacIntyre (interior designer) is so stylish – he can throw things
On archiving his collections
together, like a J Crew jacket with fantastic jeans and YSL boots, and voila.
Sometimes I keep pieces from my collection for the memories – but
Lincoln Phillip (fashion writer and stylist) to me is a gentleman who
I feel guilty (doing so) I can’t wear everything, I like to shop, and I like
has a passion for fashion without being a victim of fashion; he makes
to wear other designer’s clothing. I want to give [my designs] away
dressing well seem as easy as the Mediterranean breeze. He is not
so they can go out and have a life on their own.
afraid to experiment with new ideas while still respecting the classics;
On his personal style
he can mix high and low, old and new effortlessly.
Edgy preppy – I like preppy but I don’t want to be boring – I like sexy,
On Calgary’s conservative side
The other day I wore bright red jeans and these dudes were yelling
On fitted clothing I hate it when men try on suit jackets and they start stretching and doing lunges. I’m like, what are you doing? Are you going to be
at me, “Hey Michael Jackson, it’s Michael Jackson.” I took it as a compliment, if I look like I’m from the Beat-It video, then great. If I’ve stimulated their minds and their eyes, then I’ve achieved my goal.
walking down the street doing that?
And Haithem Elkadiki on his future
Fitted clothing forces you to have good posture. If the garment allows
My goal is to die doing this. I don’t want to retire, I want to work for as
you to be slouchy then you’ll stay that way. Posture’s everything.
long as I can, to dress as many people as possible.
TEXT • Nicola Gavins, Lauren Hughes PHOTO • Clayton Didier MODEL • Steph Del Alba from Mode Models
SUMMER BEAUTY MAKEUP
This summer’s fashion is culturally and globally inspired. From flowing kaftans, safari jumpsuits, tribal prints, and Grecian inspired sandals, the exotic and the adventurous rule the runway. How does the urban warrior choose to decorate her visage to compliment these global trends? The glamazon craves earthy pigments of buff, bronze, and cocoa for summer sultry eyes. Sculpt killer cheeks by blending a brown cream blush under the cheekbone. Score a tribal tan with an all over bronzer, applied with a large fluffy brush. For lips, the sultry safari girl can choose a nude peachy shade layered with a honey coloured gloss, or for a sensual sauvage look, lips are stained a deep blackened berry. The one thing our huntress would never leave home without: mascara and lots of it. This season dance to the beat of the tribal drum and celebrate your beauty with Global Exotica!
Lauren Hughes | Mousy Brown’s
Tanned skin, beach dresses, ah summer. This summer season has not let us down with sexy hairstyles. Straight, Wavy, and Curly are brought together again. To achieve a perfect balance between messy and defined, concentrate on enhancing your natural textures. To protect your hair from the harmful UV’s use Bumble and bumble leave in, and pump up your curl with Bumble and bumble surf spray to achieve that just out of the ocean feel. Go for a sun-kissed look of colour in your hair, but make sure it looks natural with that je ne sais quoi quality. Have fun, it’s summer.
PHOTO Clayton Didier | MODEL Natahna Bargen of Mode Models (Alice) | HAIR Propaganda MAKEUP Ruth Bancroft | Quotes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Alice’s clothing by Suka, and jewelry by Amor | Our White Rabbit Andy styled himself from his own closet.
I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, Sir,
because I’m not myself, you see. Blair the Caterpillar was styled by Darren Bolz with clothing from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods Alice’s clothing from Bamboo Ballroom, jewelry by Amor and shoes from Gravity Pope Shot on location at 100 club
Ashley our Tweedledum and Tweedledee was styled and wore a corset by Sweet Carousel Hair and make up done by Ashley herself
Yo u k n o w v e r y w e l l y o u â€™ r e n o t r e a l .
Afsheen the Mad Hatter and Darren the March Hare were styled by Darren Bolz. Afsheen’s clothing and shoes from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods and hat from Head Case Darren’s tossed clothing from Herny and shoes from Gravity Pope Alice’s lingerie from Dawn’s Bra-tique and jewelry by Amor Shot on location at 100 club
“You might just as well say that ‘I like what I get, is the same thing as I get what I like.’” - March Hare
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” - Alice
The Queen of Hearts, a Mark Sheppard Creative Aliceâ€™s clothing from Fridget and styled by Bridget Smatlan
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” -Albert Schweitzer
TEXT • Caroline Gualt PHOTO • Eric Newbie
We affectionately call her Mamó—Gaelic for Grandmother. I rarely hear her called Yvonne, or Mrs. McGrath, because “Mamó” is used freely by our friends and family. As my eyes dance over the the sea of photos in her apartment, Mamó asks in her signature husky voice, “Do you know that song, ‘Doing the Lamberth Walk?’” She doesn’t wait for me to respond and jovially sings, “Hummm de da da da dooo, hummm de da da da doo... You’ll find us all doing the Lamberth Walk! Oye! Everything’s bright and cheery! Do as you damn well cleary...” It’s a catchy Londoner song, she explains, that was popular during the 1930s. This kind of vivacious moment is commonplace with Mamó, and it’s simply a reflection of her optimistic attitude that’s brought her through difficult times—hiding in bomb shelters as a little girl and collecting shrapnel from the garden, the sudden death of her husband in 1963, and the struggle to raise seven small children as a single parent in Dublin, Ireland. Before becoming a mother, however, she was forced to make a life altering decision that meets a forgiving compromise in modern day: to follow her dreams of becoming a doctor, or to marry and start a family. Because she lived in an era that would not allow a woman both, I’m thankful she chose the latter, and she has no regrets. “I didn’t begrudge it,” she says, with the grace and elegance that defines her. “Oh gosh yes, I remember at the time I felt that my father and [fiancé] were determined to keep me out of Africa, and that I wasn’t going to be able to do what I wanted to do. I wanted to study under Albert Schweitzer—a wonderful man who actually won the Nobel Peace Prize eventually—because he was doing all this work for leprosy. But that’s just the way life works out. And I mean, once you move into something, you realize that it’s for the best.” To afford her large family, Mamó started a daycare from home, doubling the amount of children to care for, and providing an environment that catered to each child collectively. “It was a crèche, run by me—qualified nurse and midwife,” she says. “We set up the house properly and adapted it,
and it went like a bomb! It was just amazing how quickly people caught on—especially newlywed couples with their firstborns. The only reason I left the crèche was because my children were growing up. Things move on, you know, nothing stays static.” Now, with most of her children (and respective grandchildren) making their homes in North America, Mamó resides in Edmonton, Alberta. Making the move to Canada was quite a logical step for her, just as it was to marry and start a family in 1952. “It made sense,” she explains with enthusiasm. “A number of [my friends in Ireland] said, ‘Oh, you’ll regret [moving to Canada],’ because I’d had a life [in Ireland], and I was going into the older phase of my life. I said, ‘Yes, but there are all these lovely grandchildren in Canada. There’s a new generation growing and I want to be part of it. I want to be there and grow with them, if you like.’” The myriad of photos that dress her apartment walls are a testament to her passion for family, blurring the lines between generations—a mélange of faces that narrate the lives of her seven children, 18 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and ancestors passed. “I enjoy looking back at what was and on those people that were,” she says. “And I enjoy doing a little bit of research on families and ancestors—that’s why I have these pictures, here. You know, they go back a long way. My father is in them, my sons are in them. [And my] ancestors are in them too.” Mamó’s earnestness to remain connected to her past while living in the present is the root of her contentment, but as she tells me, finding one’s passion is what makes life worthwhile. “Life is something that you make it,” she says. “And that depends on what your priorities are. And certainly, family is very much a priority for me.” She may not have made it to Africa, or changed the lives of those plagued with disease, but the impact she’s had on the lives she created is immeasurable. If I can take the same delight in life as she does at 79, I have no fear of time. In fact, I look forward to it.
Q& A WITH
TEXT • Jenny McConnell
NURSE FIGHTER BOY
I used to be one of those “ Toronto is trying too hard to be New York” naysayers. However, after three years here, I’ve slowly begun to find my niche amongst the masses. With stereotypes fading away and a new generation of positive and creative people emerging, I am hopeful the city will embrace its uniqueness. Canadian director, Charles Officer exemplifies this creative shift through his beautiful, honest, and soulful film, Nurse.Fighter.Boy, which recently screened at Edmonton’s Metro Cinema. Set in Toronto’s east side, the film follows three distinctive Caribbean-Canadian individuals. We are first introduced to Jude (Karen LeBlanc, Nurse), a night nurse battling sickle cell anemia while raising her exquisitely spiritual and gifted son Ciel, and gifted son (Daniel Gordon, Boy). We then meet Silence (The Wire’s Clark Johnson, Fighter), a washed-up boxer, and occasional underground street fighter with a top-notch record collection and an enlightened sensibility. The visuals, shot on film and digitally, are stunning, dramatic, and thoughtful. The music plays a role all its own, at once helping the story and seamlessly carrying us through the film. A blend of roots reggae, hip-hop, and soul, the sounds and lyrics stay with us and guide our emotions through the film. The film has garnered critical acclaim, most notably an official selection at the Toronto International Film Fest, and has traveled internationally, winning fans wherever it roams. Nurse.Fighter.Boy offers a glimpse into urban Caribbean culture in Toronto, a rare perspective that is both modern and realistic. I urge anybody looking for something moving and hopeful to seek out the recently released DVD.
CHARLES OFFICER Q: The film felt like a breath of fresh air in comparison to other Canadian films. It was devoid of the typical “Degrassi” feeling one often gets from the average Canadian production. How were you able to achieve this?
h a i r
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A: The aesthetic was grounded in the collaboration between cinematographer, Steve Cosens and I. We worked together on K’naan’s ‘Strugglin’ video in ‘05. We wanted to create a hybrid look to the film, Stylized/Neo-Realism. It felt like the right direction as I dug into the story and stepped onto real locations. Steve and I are attracted to cinema that breathes. There’s a tone to classic cinema, like the Vittorio De Sica film, The Bicycle Thief, there is nothing TV feeling (in) his work. Nurse.Fighter.Boy, as a first feature of a particular budget size was about exploring my aesthetic and pushing it to the limit. My objective was to communicate the story as visually as I could... evoke emotion with colour. We had a lot of support from the CFC and Deluxe, who were very generous resourcefully. We had a great time with our colourist, creating a unique visual palette of our own. Q: The Characters in the film all portrayed different types of outsiders, underdogs, or exceptional people. Do you feel like an outsider in the Canadian film industry? If so, do you feel it is to your benefit or deficit? A: I worked as a graphic designer and creative director before I came into filmmaking. I came into filmmaking by way of an acting class, and boy have I felt like an outsider. The more I think about it... I have always felt like an outsider, but maybe that’s because I put myself there. I like the view from the periphery and I like to observe. As time goes on and you focus a bit on figuring out who you are, what your about... you feel more confident and that ‘Outsider’ feeling goes away. Personally, the Canadian film scene has been very positive from my early short films and continued into Nurse.Fighter.Boy. I am grateful for that because it’s difficult to keep going when you’re not getting support. There is something in me that needs to maintain an independent spirit to the work... to keep it all connected. Q: The music played throughout the film almost took on a character of its own; helping to carry one scene to the next as well as working in conjunction with the spiritual element in the film. How do both music and spirituality influence your art? A: Sometimes, I need to find the right track before I can kick off and write. Music sinks me in and creates an immediate reaction in my bones. That’s what I want to achieve in cinema. It’s difficult to do so over 90 minutes, but it’s a great challenge to explore. I don’t think I can separate the two, spirituality and art. However you look at it... the spirit of the creator will find its way into the art created ... that’s what resonates after we watch, listen, and take in art. – your spirit. Q: The film seemed to represent a stunning new force of young Canadian talent; exemplified not only by the filmmaking, but also in the music of artists like Zaki Ibrahim and K’naan. Being a part of this generation, do you see the potential for Canadian film to reach beyond Canadian borders? A: It’s an amazing time. There’s a generation of young Canadian talent who are connecting and becoming allies. We have a DIY spirit and it’s cool because we are all inspired by each other. We have a mutual respect for our individual artistry. The work is crossing over in America and Internationally. I really believe we’ll see a lot of exciting collaborations in the next few years as young Canadian talent hone their respective means of expression... We’ll see a whole new wave of storytelling.
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TEXT & PHOTO • Andrew Nguyen
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill North American bus depot. I’m standing on an expansive parking lot on the fifth level of an arcade structure resembling an airport the size of West Edmonton Mall for charter buses. Here, somewhere in suburban Istanbul, several dozen brands of Mercedes Benz charter bus companies line the lot, ready to transport passengers to another middle of nowhere destination in Turkey. I look up at the clusterfuck of illuminated billboards and see Times Square, only the signs are in Turkish and we’re at a bus station in Istanbul. Two hours earlier, Lisa and I are waiting outside our guesthouse for a shuttle-bus to transport us to the central bus depot. We’re wrapping up our weeklong stay in Istanbul and are headed to central Turkey to a region called Cappadocia; a land of religious and geological significance with fairy-tale qualities. The driver of the shuttle tells me I must throw my pack into the rear; there’s no room up front where all other luggage is stored. I try to shut the rear door and become uncomforted by the lack of sound the door makes when it latches. The driver, in Aa frenzy, looks at his watch and sarcastically assures me that my bag will be ok and that the door will not fly open. He taps the door and says “OK? See?” Istanbul still has cobblestone roads and incredibly narrow side streets. So, for the next hour and a half, I stare out at the windows parallel to our direction of travel, looking for mirrored reflections, anticipating that I will see my twenty-two kilogram pack launch out the back like a medieval catapult. Inside, bags are piled on top of bags. Bags are piled on top of our laps, people even seem to be piled on top of the bags. Ironically, my pack in the rear has possession of the most coveted spot on the shuttle. It’s now half past nine and our soon-to-be driver yells out, “CAPPADOCIA!” and we all
load in, tourists and Turks alike. My first impression: this is going to be a smooth journey. The bus is only one quarter full. The Mercedes Benz symbol is rife throughout, adorning the headrests, armrests, and overhead cabins. The coach even has its own dedicated attendant, sporting a neatly pressed shirt, tie, and satintrimmed vest, even donning white sanitary gloves. As much as I want to stay awake for the entire overnight trip, it becomes increasingly dark and consequently impossible to see. And so I succumb to the weight of my eyelids shutting for some obligatory night rest. Charter bus roadside breaks are common when traveling, being more common on heavily traveled routes, and they don’t come quietly. The fluorescent overhead track lighting down, the aisle flares up, and the attendant, keen on waking every soul on the bus at one in the morning, yells out, “TWENTY MINUTES!” in Turkish, announcing the amount of time you have to empty your bladder and light up a cigarette. Startled, because I have now learnt the practical definition of “rude awakening,” I glance over at Lisa and think, “What in the hell?” Instead of hell raising, I find myself flipping a Turkish Lira to the WC attendant and choosing the North
American style of toilet over the hole-in-theground Turkish digs. Exhausted, I rub my eyes in an effort to rid myself of the “lemon juice in the eye feeling”, as I walk down the small touristy shops lining the bus depot. Lisa and I climb back onto the bus, but not for the last time, as we find ourselves doing the same thing at two and at three, in the morning. It’s around six in the morning and daylight breaks above the fog that is hugging the Turkish countryside. It is foggy enough that visibility is only a few kilometres and enough that the driver finds it necessary to have his windshield wipers active. The desert-like countryside is dotted with dusty shrubs and stunted trees, dramatically characterized by wide arrays of collapsing infrastructure. Blocks and blocks of concrete and natural rock are strewn across the flats, creating a monotone Lego-project kicked aside by the schoolyard bully feeling – this place has seen more vibrant times. The shroud of fog still clings to the landscape, slowing time and preserving the urban war-zone facade. Metro could not be synonymous with anything here, I think. There is something sweet in the dew that mediates the contact between my sight and the Turkish countryside. I take a deep breath as I have my first real bite into a so-called Turkish delight.
FRIDGET BY BRIDGET SMATLAN www.fridget.ca
Designer Bridget Smatlan celebrates a decade in the fashion industry! Find her along with Fridget Apparel all summer long at the Edmonton City Market downtown on 104 street. Available at Bamboo Ballroom Photo dallaswhitley.com | Glasses Women With Vision 10515 109 Street | Model Myra McLean: Fridget Apparelâ€™s biggest supporter and Bridget Smatlanâ€™s nana.
MEESE CLOTHING www.meeseclothing.com
Whether your summer is full of picnic dates, dance parties, long bike rides, patio barbeques, afternoon weddings, grasshoppers, sunsets and sunrises, or even long hours at work, Meese has got you covered... literally. With over 40 Canadian Labels including: Brave Beltworks, Preloved, Sessa, Revolve, Allison Wonderland Suka, Kitchen Orange, Cinder + Smoke, Magdilene, and Second Denim Jeans 31 D Perron Street, St. Albert, AB Photo by Centree Photography
ELEGANT EXPRESSIONS Elegant Expressions is a Home Decor and Gift store providing the services of custom ordering, home consultations, wedding registry and always complimentary gift wrap! From handbags to linens, Elegant Expressions present a variety of items that help you express what you love and how you live. 628 RIVERBEND SQUARE
SALGADO FENWICK www.salgadofenwick.com
Salgado Fenwick designs are a fusion of classic urban styles that capture the childhood imagination. The hand-drawn, silkscreen images are sassy and fancy-free, printed on high quality apparel, and saturated in fearlessly bold colors. You can find Salgado Fenwick at the Downtown Farmers Market every Saturday, or look for us at the Edmonton Fringe Festival from August 13th-23rd.
SUKA BY ALI SHICK firstname.lastname@example.org
This season Suka is inspired by some of Rock n’ Roll’s most original icons. Before they became big city Rebels, the open country side inspired an attitude of its own. Soon enough people where trading in their milk cans and dirt roads for guitars and city street lights.. With this attitude, a classic look became an edgy trade mark and unforgetable style. Available at Bamboo Ballroom (Whyte Ave), Meese clothing (St Albert), Life of Riley (Vancouver) Photo Hanson Ng | Hair Corin Berry @ Ricci hair Co. | Makeup Nicola Gavins
SWISH Go retro at Swish - a vintage shop located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. We hold an eclectic taste of mid-century furnishings and house the best dresses, handbags and hats from the 1930’s through to the 1970’s. Explore our new storefront home at 102 street and Manulife Place. Store hours Monday - Saturday: 10AM - 5:30PM Thursday: 10AM - 8PM Closed Sundays & Holidays
BY AMOR CARANDANG This summer is all about feeling fresh and clashing gunmetal, gold and silver chains with bold pieces of semi-precious stones in turquoise, rose and cobalt blue. Some of Amor’s accessories are asymmetrical, a staple to the Amor jewelry collection, leaving much to the imagination of the person bearing the jewelry to bring a little creativity and uniqueness to their look. Also fit for a stylish wedding, Amor jewelry can be custom made. Made to be inspiring, worn to be noticed… an essential piece for the season. Available at at Foosh, Bamboo Ballroom, Social Script & Meese
PARAGON OF DESIGN BY SKROCKI www.paragonofdesignbyskrocki.com
Wearable Art for Yourself and Your Home. Resplendent handcrafted jewellery and home décor comprise the catalogue of Edmonton based Paragon of Design by Skrocki. The majority of the items presented are entirely fabricated by POD’s designers. From elegant women’s jewellery and accessories, to worldly home décor, to creative men’s jewellery and complimentary accessories, POD offers a salient array of products. Whether you are shopping for that perfect personal accent, an adornment for your home or office, or perhaps an unparalleled gift, our extensive back catalogue, populated by many one-of-a-kind and limited run designs, is sure to have what you are looking for. POD will be featured in Capital Ex’s “Northwest Originals” exhibition and the Alberta Gift Show.
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01 Macaroons at D’Lish Light, chewy and drizzled in chocolate, this organic dessert fills that hole in your soul. 02 Davines Hair Oil Hellooo... the bottle says it all: finest oil for wizards. 03 Sea of Shoes We’re jealous of 17 year-old fashion blogger Jane Aldridge. The girl has amazing style and her own shoe line at Urban Outfitters. seaofshoes.typepad.com 04 Dream Tea House Southside Bubble Tea Mecca. A colorful local hangout spot for underagers and the kid in all of us. Open late and delivering delicious, sweet treats for your belly on a nightly basis. 05 Lee Fields-My World LP/CD (Truth and Soul Records) From the loosely based New York studio assassins involved with Daptone Records, Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse, Antibalas, etc., a record of pure, gritty analog soul from a veteran of the blues. Lee Fields’ voice resonates with hardknock life experience yet an uplifting tone of optimism pervades. Buy this record - on vinyl if you can. 06 Oliver Pool A day retreat on a shoestring. Downtown Edmonton’s Oliver Pool is the best way to spend one of those oh-so-rare hot summer days. Serving up salt and vinegar chips and astro pops with a hint of fifties nostalgia (note the vintage change rooms), it’s a gem in the heart of the city. 07 Christian Hansen & the Autistics If you’re going to catch a show, watch out, because these true entertainers will make your feet blister. Christian Hansen & the Autistics bring a sweat-filled, animated performance at every gig, handstands included. This Edmonton alternative/ electro pop band will shake your socks off
LEVA CAFE It has the complete package: outside patio, cappuccinos to die for, soups that make your toes curl, addictive thin-crust pizzas, live music on friday nights, and the best part: sweetest. staff. ever. 09 John Masters Organics John Master created his own skin and hair care line out of his own Soho salon a decade ago. He uses only the purest certified organic botanicals for his full collection. Conscious of his own health and the health of his clients, his products never contain petroleum products, artificial fragrances, artificial colours, SLS (sodium laurel sulphate), parabens, DEA, MEA or TEA, propylene glycol, or genetically modified organisms. John Masters revels in wildcrafted essential oils, therapeutic ingredients and sensuous aromas. 10 Antler Andi Strand, Editor-In-Chief and Art Director of ANTLER, decided to start this gorgeous online-magazine after a series of synchronistic events that culminated in a trip to a particularly skilled psychic – thereby winning a million proverbial points in our books. Antlermag.com 11 UNO UNO is interactive, has no end and no beginning, and comes in gold, silver, bronze, gun-metal, black, white, lime green, aqua blue, navy blue, baby blue, pink, purple, red, orange, and yellow – check it out at ART LIFE in Calgary. 12 Essays on Beauty Dave Hickey’s Essays on Beauty explore contemporary society’s dysfunctional relationship to art and beauty in a way that will essentially mess with your head – and it’s full of dirty pictures. 13 The Book of Other People A collection of short stories about random characters in random places. Sounds like a good time if you’ve got a random case of A.D.D. 14 Belua Designs Stuffed sock monsters that you can adopt and call your own. We’ve always wanted a creepy little thing beside us when we go to bed. Adopt online at www.beluadesigns.com
OBSCURE USB We spent more time playing with it than using it... such is life.