FEBRUARY | 2012
VOLUME 3 ISSUE 6
MONDAY INDUSTRY NIGHT $3 Drinks & $4 Shots, Featuring DJ Kenny K
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$3 Feature Pint, $4 House Pints, $5 Domestic Pints, $6 Import & Premium Pints
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TALIA ADLER MAGAT
BEN GIESBRECHT & DALE BAILEY
ELLEN CHORLEY & DELIA BARNETT
SCOTT FRANCIS WINDER
MATTHIAS EDWIN SMALE
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BEVAN ALEKSANDER SAUKS UMAR AKBAR S A R G E
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I GREW UP LOVING THAT WHOLE IDEA OF ART
I’d imagine you see a pretty good cross-section of the art buying community here in the city working at an art gallery? I think people just want something original. Its all here, for sure—all Canadian and pretty well established. People come in and some just have a knack for identifying exactly what it is that they like. For bigger pieces, they can get costly, so people will come in—look at it and think about it. It’s a big investment so people want to be sure that it’s the right piece. When did you know you wanted to be a part of the art world? I grew up loving that whole idea of art—of producing and making it. In high school I thought I wanted to curate. I went into some painting and abstract culture classes, which were great to experience, but I knew I just wanted to be involved—I didn’t care what it was. I just needed to be a part of it. Where did you go to school? I ended up with a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, with a minor in German literature and language. Not the minor I was expecting. I wanted to take a second language and German kind of just fit. I liked it enough that I thought I could actually focus on this, fight through it. I’m very glad and a little impressed with myself that I stuck with German, as it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever taken. Second languages are difficult and the grammar can get quite extensive. There is a lot of meat there. How did you end up working at the Agnes Bugera gallery? I was stressed when I finished. I didn’t have a job and I was freaking out. I started walking around on Jasper Avenue going in to different galleries in order to ask around. I was in the neighbouring gallery talking to the receptionist—telling her that I’d just graduated and that I was looking for work—and she said that Agnes was hiring as the receptionist was leaving. I told her my history and I got the job after an interview. How have you enjoyed getting deeper into this whole world—having more responsibility at the gallery? She’s been great in giving me more responsibility. I’ve been allowed to manage the gallery and keep the doors open when she’s out of town so yes, over the past year my role has expanded for sure. There are some days where things slow, but it can get pretty intense sometimes. I want to get as much experience as I can. I love where I’m at right now as it’s fun and the people are great. I’m good right now so I try to keep things in the present moment.
Your music has this really well defined sound—with pretty easy to spot influences that you’ve done some cool stuff with. Where do those come from? My dad did the R&B Revue on CKUA when I was a kid; exclusively playing old rhythm and blues, soul and gospel music—the same kind of music that was always playing around the house. I’m pretty sure that soaked into me at the time. At the same time I’m not so sure it’s even a choice at this point. I try to do different things, but it always seems to come back to that sound. I’ll try to do something dryer and punchier and more modern, but it comes out as a modern take on that same kind of thing. Luckily it seems to be working pretty well for you. Over the next little while I’m going to try to stretch out a little bit, try something new—some things that are a little outside. I think even in people who are rebelling against those influences you can find a similarity—even if they’ve just twisted it in some really strange way. If you untwist it something is still there. You’re moving to the east coast, but for a long time you’ve been something of a staple in the local music scene. I’m pretty sure the first show I ever went to was one of yours in Riverdale Hall. My first band was when I was fifteen, but I’d been trying to start one since I was twelve—a couple probably almost got off the ground but never did. My first shows were when I was sixteen and now I’m twenty-two. It’s kind of crazy. You’ve become pretty well involved with the guys from Bedouin Soundclash?
MICHAEL RAULT I TRY TO DO DIFFERENT THINGS, BUT IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO COME BACK TO THAT SOUND
I’ve been on tours playing guitar for Jay—the lead singer of Bedouin Soundclash as he does solo stuff. I’ve been able to open for Bedouin across Canada with my own band as well. I’ve slept on their couches many times, bummed around Toronto with them as a kind of little brother. A while back I gave the bass player “Crash! Boom! Bang!”—an older album of mine. I was a little hesitant to give it to him, but they listened to it on their tour and when the next one came out they got back to me and said they wanted to put it out. Some pretty crazy experiences there? We played some venues in Montreal that sold out at three thousand person capacities, which was insane. That was a bit of a wild adventure. What are you working on now? I’ve got a brand new single coming out right away—two drastically different versions of the same song. One is super lo-fi, the other relatively hi-fi. It’s called “I Want to Love You,” and it will be out soon as a 7”. We filmed a video for the lo-fi version of the song that should be out soon enough. It’s a cool little addition to my discography. check out
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TALIA ADLER MAGAT YOU FEEL A CERTAIN WAY AND YOU JUST LET IT OUT
How did you get your start as a dancer—more specifically as a Hip Hop dancer? I started dancing when I was three years old—I did flamenco dancing. When my family moved to Israel I did funky jazz dancing, which is sort of the equivalent of what Hip Hop is here. When I moved here I tried a bunch of different styles, and realized that Hip Hop was my thing. And you’ve done pretty well in that field? I was with a crew that came in third in the world— Back up. We went to Vancouver to audition to represent Canada in the World Hip Hop championships and we got it. We went down to Las Vegas for this fifty-country competition in which we came in third. It was super stressful, but really awesome. What pays the bills? I went to Grant MacEwan and I have my diploma in social work, registered and all of that. I did it because I like people—my mom is a social worker as well. She really loves it and the program seemed great. I knew that eventually I wanted to do dance therapy, so it made sense. It’s like music therapy or pet therapy or anything. People that are going through hard times find that movement can really help them. For me personally movement is a huge part of my day. If I don’t move all day I feel awful. I could definitely see how dance could be a therapeutic experience for people. As a social worker I want to try and incorporate it into my work—do a kind of dance therapy. It’s the same as music or writing. You feel a certain way and you just let it out. You do it and you feel better. It can be a huge release of stress. It’s an art form, but it’s also a pretty involuntary response—movement seems like such a natural thing to do. It’s part of who you are—really anyone can do it. You see little kids and people dancing at concerts. It’s just your body. You teach as well? I teach throughout the city. It’s something I love, something I’d like to do as much as possible. I teach at Desert Rose Studio and a place called Summerside—both youth and adult classes. book classes at
LISTENING IS JUST ABOUT THE MOST GENEROUS THING A PERSON CAN DO
Before we get to your work at home—I’ve got to imagine that you had some memorable encounters volunteering for Obama’s 2012 reelection while in D.C.? One of the most memorable moments during the campaign was when a Republican African-American grandmother told me, “Son, this country is going to hell,” as I was asking her if she was a registered voter. Where do you think this drive to be so involved in activism and politics comes from? I grew up in Eritrea from when I was about ten to sixteen and a half or so. I had a cousin named Abel who grew up wanting to be a doctor, who was really bright and smart and ambitious—had all of this potential while I was sort of the goof-off troublemaker in my classes. I had a Canadian passport while he didn’t, meaning he couldn’t do exactly what he wanted to do while I had all of this freedom. When I came back here I had this guilt because of all these privileges I had—so I started trying to do something. First year at U of A I thought about pre-med as I had a bunch of friends doing it, but it wasn’t really working out. Third year I ended up going into Political Science and Economics—two fields where I feel you can really make the change you want to see. You’ve got a pretty impressive resume in student politics as well? This is my fourth year elected on the student council as a counselor representing arts—as well as the general faculties council. I’ve been able to sit on a bunch of boards, CJSR, The Gateway and served as president of the Musicians Club in second year—won student group of the year on that one. I chaired the Bylaw and Policy committee and cofounded Eudaimons, based on the Aristotelian notion of the human soul flourishing by doing and thinking well. So we fundraised and started a journal for that. You’re working to broaden the scope of student politics beyond just university life as well? I’m cofounding another group this year that’s a student think tank/ lobby group called the Student Network for Advocacy and Public Policy—SNAPP. We’re partnering up with another group in the US, and my vision for it at least is that we’ll become Canada’s first nonpost secondary student think tank on a national level. We’ve got lobby groups, but they’re all about university life. I wanted to start a group for students advocating broader policy. We’ve got thoughts about war, about economic development. It’s a unique form of activism; one that’s about putting policy papers on picket signs. You attended the Youth Republican Convention in DC and chaired the Energy and Environment committee that was in charge of amending the Energy and Environment sections of the 2008 Republican Platform. Do you think that’s important—trying to be a little more bipartisan, a little more empathetic about political views? The reason why I love volunteering with and checking out a whole bunch of parties is because I feel like too many people fall into a political mould without actually understanding the world outside of them. Listening is just about the most generous thing a person can do and, sadly, there seems to be a shortage of it nowadays.
There’s a lot of competition in fashion blogging—a lot of really high quality stuff out there. How have you differentiated Dressmedearly.com? I’ve tried to carve a niche—a fashion blog focused on Edmonton with everything happening in the city, as well as outfit posts based the kinds of things that inspire me— things I wear and that kind of stuff. I wanted to try to do something more personal and a little different. What kind of coverage have you done on the local fashion scene? I’ve done interviews with local designers, local storeowners and people with great style. I try not to make it just about me. The fashion scene here can get a bad rap, but there are lots of very fashionable people— people who care about fashion. It’s great to see people who love that world. Since last fall there’s a definite consciousness emerging. People are getting excited and becoming aware. It’s a pretty exciting industry. Seeing people turning blogging into their source of income has become more and more common. Blogging as a full time gig is my dream. There are tons of people who do it—it’s on the table. You’re seeing bloggers branch out into different areas. Some have books, do appearances—you can see how people are marketing themselves. It’s a labour of love for a lot of people, and there are tons of hard working people in Edmonton doing it because they have a passion. It’s free content, but people are waking up and realizing that they can get rewarded to keep them going. What do you want Dressmedearly.com to become? I would love to carve out a niche—to become the source for information on fashion in Edmonton. That’s my focus right now. Eventually I’d like to branch out, but right now I want to be where people looking for inspiration or trying to find out what is going on in fashion in Edmonton go.
JANIS GALLOWAY I WANTED TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING MORE PERSONAL
How has this whole experience surprised you? One of my favourite things about blogging is the larger community—not just blogging but fashion in general. Starting this whole thing was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. Having someone come up to you and say, “are you Dress Me Dearly?” is so exciting. It seems unattainable, but blogging can get you a lot of opportunities. check out
I’ve got to ask—where did the name for your production company come from? Shoulda’ Danished Productions—A Danish is a spin out of a snowboard trick. When you try something and you don’t really pull it off quite right we normally yell “shoulda’ Danished.” So which came first, video or snowboarding? Snowboarding came first—with short films kind of on the side. Loving snowboard videos it made sense after a while to combine the two. Video and snowboarding really do go hand in hand. I’ve watched the videos, and I’m guessing most of these things aren’t first take runs. Does a lot of time go into these? Some days it will take ten hours to get one three second clip, and those definitely aren’t the best days. At the end of the year you typically compile all of the footage, but we’re trying something a little different. We’re traveling around making a kind of travel video, combining skits so that there’s a little bit of a plotline. We’re trying to script it a little. People have made full-length movies based around snowboarding but the boarding itself is just really crappy—movies about monkeys snowboarding and all that. We try to combine it a little bit because in all honestly we find snowboarding pretty funny. It can be a huge joke, so yeah—we try to take things lightly. And your newest project? We bought an old eighties camper van and a few of us have been touring around in that, living in that van. We just got back after a month of touring around Alberta following the snow and hunting down a place to plug in every night. Wake up, drive to a spot, make some eggs, make some tea and snowboard. I’m guessing you guys capture a lot that doesn’t make it into the videos? You catch some funny people as you end up in some weird places. Lots of gnarly bails for sure. From what I’ve seen you guys do most of this right here in the city? It’s mostly all urban. We try to make it out to backcountry powder when we can, but it’s way more expensive. Last season we had about four feet downtown, so we could just ride around. check out
BEN GIESBRECHT & DALE BAILEY
WAKE UP, DRIVE TO A SPOT, MAKE SOME EGGS, MAKE SOME TEA AND SNOWBOARD
So it’s been a quiet, uneventful fifty days or so? Very. Same old same old. This blog of yours has really blown up. Why did you decide to do this? I’ve always wanted to be in the entertainment industry in some way, which coming from an East Indian household was kind of an outlandish proposition—going to your mom saying that you want to be on Entertainment Tonight. They said I should go to school and get a degree and get these crazy ideas out of my head. I found I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing—getting the degree was good, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I needed a way to express myself and what I’m thinking—I have crazy opinions with a crazy sense of humour. A blog made sense, but I never thought in a million years I’d wake up to the first day having gotten three thousand hits. And now—fifty days later? Now I’m at 150,000 hits. What kind of writing gets a person that much attention? I like to create awareness about issues, but it’s definitely humourous at its core. I do in my posts tie seriousness to humour, but I try to take those things people are thinking and just say them out loud. That might be why it’s been so successful. How did this all get off of the ground? The first post was about the top ten things not to do when curing a broken heart. All of my girlfriends have been through that and the consensus was that they go a little crazy. I wrote this post in twenty minutes, showed a friend who said that she thought it was hysterical, forwarded it and said I needed to get it out there. People reposted it on Facebook and friends kept it rippling. A lot of people are finding talent over the Internet and this seems to be no exception. Your writing has gotten you some attention?
SABRINA PARMAR A BLOG MADE SENSE
Bollywood has gone pretty mainstream, and despite being East Indian I’m actually not that into it—but a TV production company approached me after someone there read the blog. They loved what I was doing and called me and said that they wanted me to work on some segments. I knew I wanted to end up on TV so it seemed like a great thing to do. It airs to about 500,000 people a week which is pretty cool. Things keep coming. Did you ever think this was how things would take off? I failed my first year English class. In it my professor told me not to ever write—which naturally was really disheartening. Even still I get taken back when people compliment my style. check out
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Your volunteering history goes back quite a ways—let’s start with the most recent. I volunteer with ICCP, the Inner City Children’s Program through Big Brothers, Big Sisters. It’s an after school program to keep kids from hanging around in the streets too much. They do work in some neighbourhoods where I grew up, so I thought it would be good to give something back. When did you decide you wanted to be a part of that community? I started a very long time ago. I had a fundraiser for the Youth Emergency Shelter Society back in ninth grade. A bunch of local musicians played and we managed to raise about $2000, but the satisfaction really came from how nice it felt to help, and how grateful they were. I’m at Grant Mac right now in education, transferring to the University soon. When I was young I wanted to be in politics, but as I got older I realized it was teachers that had the biggest influence on me, rather than politicians. Do you plan on spearheading any more projects like that? The next big project I’m working on is creating a benefit concert for the Canadian Cancer Society. It’s looking like a summer project so I can focus on school. Why is that something you feel drawn to work on? In high school, it was the day of spring break and I suddenly had this blind spot in one of my eyes. I had no idea what was going on. I went to the hospital, which turned into a long process. I kept bouncing between clinics for over 36 hours before I was admitted to the Royal Alex. They thought it was a bacterial infection, but I ended up being told it was an emergency and that I was being transferred. A doctor said my blood cells were leukemic—which I had no clue how to interpret. That was the end of March, 2010, then June 17 I had a stem cell transplant from my sister who was a perfect match. What did it end up being?
ALYSE HUYNH I REALIZED IT WAS TEACHERS THAT HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON ME
Chronic myelogenous leukemia and it was in the blast phase crisis, which is the last stage. It took DNA tests to figure the whole thing as some chromosomes had switched places resulting in the cancer. They told my family it was terminal, but they didn’t tell me until we found a match. I got more involved in volunteering during the recovery period, because I couldn’t work, couldn’t go to school—I honestly had nothing to do. A lot of people don’t understand that there are young people who get cancer. I did a speech for Relay For Life, just trying to let people know that this happens to young people. People would look at me when I went in to get blood tests done, and they’d just stare as they expect you to be so much older. Although this experience has changed me, I’m able to return to my life with an A-OK from the doctors. So awareness is a big part of what you’re working on? I’m trying to go through the whole story on YouTube. I’m on part six or seven, trying to recall the whole thing. There were some weird days— people not understanding, parts of it that I never really wrote down. check out
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Burlesque has a lot of complicated moving parts to manage— theatricality and sexuality and all of that. What do you think it is for you guys that drew you to it? It comes from an interest in that whole pinup/burlesque culture— playing with sexuality and attraction while embracing something deeper at its core. It’s not just about being sexual or attractive, but trying to put some substance into it. Finding different ways to tell a story can be interesting. People think they know what they’re going to get, but we try to almost trick them into caring about a character or getting involved in a story. There’s definitely a pretty big revival of that whole culture. Women of all sizes and shapes and colours can say “hey—I’m sexy too.” That’s what is happening right now. Women are reclaiming their sexuality and that’s probably part of why we’re seeing a big resurgence of it. The primary audience is women; they love it—specifically middle-aged women. We’ve gotten a lot of compliments for having a wide range of bodies. I understand your productions take a more narrative approach? We’re both working actors here in Edmonton, and we’re both interested in the idea of experimenting with that format—of creating a burlesque number with a story and message merged. We created this piece for a political theatre cabaret—and it got a great response. We decided to create a Fringe show called Tudor Queens of Burlesque last August. We had a great response, sold out and won staff pick for the Fringe, which for an experiment was great.
ELLEN CHORLEY & DELIA BARNETT
IIT’S NOT ABOUT PUTTING ON COSTUMES. IT’S ABOUT TAKING THEM OFF
I’m trying to think of a not punny way of saying that it’s about stripping away pretense. It totally is. There’s got to be a meaning behind taking your clothes off for sure. It’s about performing in a way that demands stripping bare. It’s not about putting on costumes. It’s about taking them off. How do you go about creating the shows? We develop the shows in the same way you’d develop a play. Write a draft, sit down and workshop it, do a second draft and go from there. We’re in the research phase of our next show so there’s lots of reading. In 2013 we want to bring Tudor Queens back out and take it on the road. In Burlesque you get a different name— ours being LaTabby Lexington and Alabastre Albright. You take on this burlesque persona, which is helpful as it sort of speaks to what you’re going to be presenting. check out
“March Madness,” at New City on March 2nd and 3rd.
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1974 2012 CRAIG ROY HOBBS We lost a close friend & valued member of the Profile team this January. Craig Roy Hobbs is survived by his loving wife Thu, his newborn Anika, and all the fond memories we cherish.
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