Throwback Thursdays: The Bridge Banner Project

Barclay Mall Calgary, Then

This week’s Throwback Thursday photograph is of Barclay Mall, taken from the vantage point of 3rd Street SW and 5th Avenue SW looking North some time in the 1990s.

 

While it’s obvious that a lot of retail development has taken place in the area since then (as evidenced by the lack of buildings such as the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire Hotel in the background), this week’s focus is on the banners you see all along 3rd Street SW adorning some of the city lights as you walk in either direction.

Barclay Mall Calgary, Now

While banners have been a part of Barclay Mall for quite some time now, it was in 2008 that The City of Calgary launched the Bridge Banner Project under Centre City as a way to engage local artists to provide artwork that explores Calgary’s characteristics of history, urbanity and natural landscape that Calgarians can enjoy as they enter the downtown core through many of the bridges that lead into it.  The banner sites in Barclay Mall were incorporated into the program.

The themes for these banners change throughout the years and are unique to the artist selected to create them.  The banners are changed every two years with a new look and story to welcome people to the core.

The current set of banners found at Barclay Mall were created by photographer Dianne Bos and were put on display in 2011.  She created them by using a medium format camera with black and white film to create overlapping sequential images of Alberta’s landscape, which were then altered digitally to add the vibrant colours you currently see.  The focus of the work is on the mood certain sites trigger in our memories but rarely can be captured on film.

The complete list of locations in Calgary where you can view these banners are:

  • 14 Street Bridge
  • Louise Bridge (10 Street)
  • Centre Street Bridge
  • Langevin Bridge (Edmonton Trail)
  • Inglewood Bridge (9 Avenue SE)
  • Zoo Bridge
  • MacDonald Avenue SE Bridge
  • Barclay Mall
  • Fort Calgary

So keep an eye out for them the next time you enter or exit the core!

That’s it for this week’s Throwback Thursday.  Tune in next week and every week in 2012 for more glimpses into the past of Downtown Calgary.

Do you have any photos of downtown Calgary from the past that you’d like to share with us?  If so, send us an e-mail [email protected] and it may appear in our weekly segment!

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: March 26 – April 2

This week at Stampede Park features the return of the PGA of Alberta Golf Show, the Mom, Tot & Kids Show, plus the Calgary Flames continue their hunt for a playoff spot while the Calgary Hitmen take on the Brandon Wheat Kings in Game 5 of the WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals.

Details on that and more here:

  • NHL Hockey:  Every game matters as the Calgary Flames play thrice this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome as they continue to pursue that elusive eight and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  First, the take on the Dallas Stars on Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. followed by the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. and finally the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, March 30 at 7 p.m.  Tickets for all three games are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Mom, Tot & Kids Show:  Welcome to the Mom, Tot & Kids Show, a fun and interactive tradeshow for Alberta families.  More than 100 exhibitors will be present showcasing the latest in technology, apparel, furniture, products and toys.  Come and play with your kids, be entertained, explore and just have fun!  March 31 and April 1 in the BMO Centre, Hall E.  Tickets available at the door and at your local Calgary Co-op store.
  • NLL Lacrosse:  The Calgary Roughnecks take on the visiting Washington Stealth this week at the Saddledome.  It all stars on Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m.  Tickets for this game are available through Ticketmaster.
  • WHL Playoffs:  The Calgary Hitmen continue through the post-season with Game 5 of the WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals against the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday, April 1 at 4 p.m. at the Saddledome.  Tickets for this game are available through Ticketmaster.
  • PGA of Alberta Golf Show:  The PGA of Alberta Golf Show returns to the BMO Centre this week.  Featuring an indoor driving range, golf lessons and even free junior golf clinics, don’t miss out on exclusive discounts on PGA memberships, green fees, hotel rates, vacation packages, clothing and golf equipment.  Taking place March 31 and April 1 with tickets available at the door.

Did you know that 2012 is the Calgary Stampede’s centennial?  There will be festivities and other celebrations happening all over the place throughout the year to help celebrate 100 years of the Calgary Stampede, so make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, make sure to visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

March’ing to the beat of a different drum


March 2012’s Thousand Dollar Thursday took place at Commonwealth Bar & Stage, which bills itself as “An Uncommon Bar for Uncommon People.” As Awesome Calgary’s all about enabling and exposing awesome and potentially “uncommon” ideas, it was an ideal venue and an ideal choice to hold one of our events at.

This month’s AF-Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday was hosted by John Smiley (one of AF-Calgary’s Founding Trustees of Awesome and also known around town by his alias Mister YYC), which set the stage for the Top4 Finalists for March 2012 to take the stage for 90 seconds each to try and convince the Trustees and audience why they felt they were deserving of the $1,000 no-strings-attached micro-grant.

Pitch 1: Calgary Can

First up was Kate Letizia and Stephanie Shields with Calgary Can.

Kate and Stephanie have travelled around developing countries the last few years and have learned about various social enterprises that address poverty and wish to apply what they’ve learned here in Calgary.

Taking inspiration from similar projects and programs in Lima and Vancouver, Kate and Stephanie wish to engage what they call Calgary’s “informal recyclers,” often called bottle pickers or binners, in a new social enterprise called Calgary Can that aims to move people out of street poverty while improving urban environmental health by providing a dignified, accepting and safe working environment for Calgary’s informal recyclers allowing them to walk proudly through Calgary’s communities on their own two feet.

The first step in the project is to engage the local community, meaning that the $1,000 would be used to run the first round of initial public consultations including paying for focus groups consisting of informal recyclers, renting a venue to hold the consultation process and other related costs. Kate and Stephanie hope to engage 15% of Calgary’s informal recyclers, which represents about 40 people.

Kate and Stephanie also submitted to us a quick video explaining their concept along with their idea submission, which you can view here.

Pitch 2: Hello Neighbour

Next up was Lane Shordee with Hello Neighbour.

Lane is a local artist who built a carriage in his garage. The inspiration for that project was the fact that the house and garage that he was living in at the time was also used to create horse-drawn carriages 100 years ago. Lane is also a self-professed scavenger, so he created that carriage out of used and scavenged materials.

Lane is set to display his project at the Pith Gallery & Studios in Inglewood during June and July. He would like to use the $1,000 to rent two horses for the exhibit and to ferry people around the neighbourhood on his newly created carriage, just like in the old days.

Pitch 3: SurrogART (a.k.a. Remote Robo-Art)

Third was Ben Reed with his SurrogART project, a synergy of art and technology. In his idea submission, he billed it as a project where “the nerds & artists of Calgary are collaborating to create a remotely controllable art robot.”

The gist of the project would combine aesthetic design with streaming video, remote control, a controllable limb and a mobile platform to virtually bring famous artists to Calgary. How it would work is that an artist from a remote location would create art through a remote interface, and the robot (dubbed the Surrogate Artistic Robotic Telepresence or S-ART for short) in a separate location would replicate movement for movement the artist’s motions leveraging the power of the Internet as the method of communication. This would allow any artist virtually anywhere in the world to make art that could be re-created in real time somewhere else.

While Ben was cognizant of similar projects around the world that use similar concepts and technology to perform things such as surgery or other remote work, SurrogART is unique in the sense that it aims to do it as cheaply as possible using consumer-grade, mass produced parts (along with the help, donations and support of many local organizations and institutions).

Ben would use the $1,000 to purchase the rest of the equipment and hardware needed to complete the project, including a wheelchair chassis, batteries and other electronic parts.

Pitch 4: Stop & Drop

Up last was Lisa Gilmour and Michelle Gallant with Stop & Drop, an installation designed for Calgary’s busy downtown people; Mindful Moments for Busy Times.

The concept would create a guerrilla living room in the heart of the downtown core where people can stop and take a load off. There would be couches and chairs along with audio headsets broadcasting inspiring words or music. Signs would be posted encouraging Calgarians to “breathe,” “claim space” or “Let’s chat!” The intent of the project is to bring awareness to bu
sy Calgarians to take time and space for oneself.

The plan is that Stop & Drop would take place from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Stephen Avenue Walk for one or up to three days over the summer, and the $1,000 would be used to pay for permits, headsets, signage, promotional materials and other logistical costs. The rest would be covered through donations and volunteer support.

And the winner is…

Before we got to the winner of March 2012’s AF-Calgary $1,000 no-strings-attached micro-grant, we had some housekeeping to take care of first.

Last month, AF-Calgary awarded the first ever multi-grant in the chapter’s history to two winning ideas, Timmy’s Only Delivery Service and Gumsphere 300. Since we weren’t intending on doing that going into the night, we only had one bag of money on us to give away. So this month, we invited February 2012 co-winner John Frosst to the festivities to present his $1,000 Bag o’ Cash, which apparently was a good thing since John and his team already used the good old credit card to purchase the final parts needed to create the missing eighth Ford Festiva needed to complete the fleet for the Gumsphere 300 roadshow. Look for the Gumsphere 300 traveling roadshow to hit North America this summer.

And with that out of the way, it was time to award the March 2012 AF-Calgary prize.

AF-Calgary’s March 2012 winner of $1,000, no-strings-attached, is Ben Reed with SurrogART. Ben and his team plans to purchase the final components needed to build the robot and the other hardware needed to complete the project and start construction right away.

Kudos to everyone who submitted (or re-submitted!) an idea or project for consideration this month, and congratulations to all of our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for the month of March.

Congratulations, Ben!

Thank you to Commonwealth Bar & Stage for hosting us this month, especially to Colin Canning for being so accommodating. Many of the people in our audience told us that it was their first time ever at the venue, and we received many comments of “this was an awesome place!” throughout the night. By using the Pitch Night format and by holding them at various venues around town, we hope the least we can do here at Awesome Calgary is to bring some exposure to the many awesome (and uncommon!) ideas and businesses around town to the rest of Calgary.

As always, putting on a Thousand Dollar Thursday every month is always a challenge, and it can’t be done without the help and support of our Awesome Support/Production Team. So a BIG Thank You to the following people for volunteering some of their time to help us out this month:

Photography Duties:

Livestream/Video Production:

Live-Tweet Team:

As you might have noticed over the last few weeks, things are picking up over here at AF-Calgary. We’ve got lots going on and planed for the rest of the year and we’re growing quickly! If you’re interested in helping out, either as a volunteer with skills or time (see the right sidebar for some ideas), or as a Trustee (we have a couple of Trustee spots opening up in the future), send me (Reg!) or Lori an email to find out more.

We’re still accepting submissions for the AF-Calgary April 2012 prize, and the deadline for that one is Tuesday, April 10 at 11:59 p.m. To apply, fill out this handy-dandy web form!

Speaking of April, it’ll be the one-year anniversary of us awarding our very first $1,000 no-strings-attached micro-grant! As such, we’ll be bringing it back to our very first venue and will be holding April’s Thousand Dollar Thursday at Endeavor Arts & Design Gallery on Thursday, April 26. Mark your calendars and save the date because we’ll have some Special Guests, Special Announcements and perhaps a few more surprises to unveil, so it’s one Thousand Dollar Thursday you won’t want to miss! More details as we get closer to the date, but in the meantime, feel free to RSVP on Facebook and Yelp.

Thanks again to everyone who took time out of their evening to join us at Commonwealth Bar & Stage, and we hope to see you again next month at Endeavor Arts & Design!

Throwback Thursdays: The Bank of Montreal Building

Bank Of Montreal Calgary - Before

This week’s Throwback Thursday photograph comes courtesy of the Collection of the Glenbow Museum Archives circa the 1930s, and it’s of the old Bank of Montreal building located at 136 – 8 Avenue S.W.

 

A branch of the Bank of Montreal had existed on this site since 1886.  By the late 1920s, it was decided to build a new building on the site to help facilitate expansion, and the adjacent Bank of British North America building next door was purchased for expansion.

The current Bank of Montreal building encompasses the neo-classical style of architecture, and was designed by Montreal architect Frederick Rea.  Built out of Manitoba Tyndall limestone, there is a carved relief of pine trees, beavers and First Nations’ people that surrounds the Bank’s coat of arms.  The coffered ceilings in the building’s interior is encrusted with 917 ounces of gold leaf.

Bank Of Montreal Calgary - Today

In 1993, A&B Sound occupied the building and spent $3 million in restoring the space, using the first two levels of the building as retail space.  A&B Sound maintained a presence at the location until they closed it down in February 2005, and the building has remained vacant ever since.

Now, after nearly seven years, new life awaits the long-vacant Bank of Montreal building as renovations have been taking place and the search is now on to find new retailers to lease space in the building.

That’s it for this week’s Throwback Thursday.  Tune in next week and every week in 2012 for more glimpses into the past of Downtown Calgary.

Do you have any photos of downtown Calgary from the past that you’d like to share with us?  If so, send us an e-mail [email protected] and it may appear in our weekly segment!

Announcing March 2012’s Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions!

First, if you missed Alberta Primetime’s feature last Wednesday on February 2012’s co-winner Tim Barber and his Timmy’s Only Delivery Service, check it out here.
And now, without further ado, Awesome Calgary’s March 2012 Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions are, in no particular order:
Top4 Finalists:

  1. Remote Robo-Art by Benjamin Reed: “The nerds & artists of Calgary are collaborating to create a remotely controllable art robot.”
  2. Hello Neighbour by Lane Shordee: “I moved into a home in Calgary that has a garage that was used to create carriages, so I decided to make one using scavenged material.”
  3. Calgary Can by Kate Letizia and Stephanie Shields: “‘Calgary Can’ will be an inclusive and economically viable association of informal recyclers – often called bottle pickers or binners – united to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled social enterprise that provides a dignified, accepting and safe working environment.”
  4. Stop & Drop by Lisa Gilmour: “Drop out of the rush, drop into the moment.”

Honourable Mentions:

  • Bully Bustin’ Derby by Pam Taylor-Bailey: “Providing roller derby gear and skills to youth who are being victimized by bullies.”
  • Sched-U-All Student Scheduling by Kyle MacQuarrie: “Building community by allowing students to connect outside of class for group work.”
  • Art Walks by Julie Chandler: “Host art walks and donate artists’ entry fees to charities working with those living in extreme poverty.”

Make sure you join us for this month’s Thousand Dollar Thursday on Thursday, March 22 at Commonwealth Bar & Stage (731 10 Ave SW) and see the Top4 Finalists present their ideas! Doors open at 6 p.m.
In the meantime, we’re currently accepting submissions for our April 2012 prize. To submit an idea to AF-Calgary for consideration, fill out this handy-dandy web form. The deadline for April 2012 submissions is Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.
Hope to see you out at Commonwealth on Thursday!

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: 19 – 25

A wide mix of events and activities this week at Stampede Park as the 127th annual Calgary Stampede Dairy Classic Championship Show gets underway, along with performances by Hedley and Pitbull, the return of The Grape Escape and The Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, plus the Calgary Hitmen start WHL playoff action this week as well.

Details on that and more here:

  • CS Dairy Classic Championship Show:  The 127th Calgary Stampede Dairy Classic expects to attract farmers from Canada’s four Western provinces, bringing about 150 cattle hailing from the Jersey, Black and White Holstein, and Red and White Holstein breeds.  Taking place Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 in the Agriculture Building and Victoria Pavilion, the Jersey Show will take place on the Friday, while the Holsteins will take place on the Saturday.  A Youth Judging clinic will also take place on Thursday, March 22.  All events and activities are open to the public and admission is free.  For more information, check out Stampede Agriculture.
  • Hedley:  Juno award-winning Vancouver rock band Hedley is on tour promoting their fourth studio album Storms and they’re coming to the Scotiabank Saddledome this week.  Featuring special guests Classified, Anjulie and Kay, it all starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20.  Tickets for the concert are available through Ticketmaster.
  • PlanetPit World Tour 2012 with Flo Rida:  American rapper and singer-songwriter Pitbull will be bringing his PlanetPit World Tour to Calgary this week, along with special guest Flo Rida.  It all takes place on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stampede Corral.  Tickets available through Ticketmaster.
  • The Grape Escape:  Informative and entertaining evenings featuring wine and beer samples from producers from all over the world, the Spring Grape Escape is back this week.  March 23 and 24 in the BMO Centre.  Tickets are available at all Co-op Wines & Spirits locations.
  • WHL Playoffs:  The Calgary Hitmen start playoff action this week at the Saddledome against the Brandon Wheat Kings as the WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals get underway.  Game 1 takes place on Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m. and Game 2 on Friday, March 23 also at 7 p.m.  Tickets for both quarter-final games are available through Ticketmaster.
  • NLL Lacrosse:  The Calgary Roughnecks take on the Buffalo Bandits this week at the Saddledome.  The action all starts on Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game are available through Ticketmaster.
  • The Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show:  Explore Western Canada’s largest adventure and travel show offering pre-season deals on the newest outdoor gear and amazing travel destinations!  See canoe and kayak experts in the Whitewater Demo Pool or ignite your passion for off-loading, biking, hiking, running, water or mountain sports at over 200 exhibits.  March 24 and 25 in the BMO Centre.  Tickets available at the door or online.

Did you know that 2012 is the Calgary Stampede’s centennial?  There will be festivities and other celebrations happening all over the place throughout the year to help celebrate 100 years of the Calgary Stampede, so make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, make sure to visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

Throwback Thursdays: The Simmons Building

Simmons Building in the East Village

Today’s Throwback Thursday photograph comes from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and the Collection of the Glenbow Museum Archives, and it’s of the Simmons Building located in Calgary’s historic East Village.

 

Also known as the Simmons Factory Warehouse, it was built in 1912 for the Alaska Bedding Company of Winnipeg.  It originally was a factory that produced pillows, mattresses, sofa beds and hospital beds, and during World War II, production from the building exclusively went to provide bedding for military overseas.  After the war, Simmons Canada used the building to produce bedding materials until 1966, where the building had sat mostly unused and unmaintained for years until the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) took ownership of the building and refurbished it to use as their base of operations in 2007.

Simmons Building Now

CMLC repaired windows and mechanical systems, refinished the the flooring and installed new doors and fire protection.  The lower section of the building functions as office space for CMLC, along with a beautiful multipurpose area that can host presentations and special events.

The upper level of the building acts as the main library and storage space, and while the beam and support structure mimics the layout of the lower level, most of the flooring on the second level remains unfinished.

This year, CMLC will relocate their head office to the restored Hillier Block, and the Simmons Building will be repurposed by a variety of vendors that will be able to leverage the venue and its beautiful backdrop of the RiverWalk pathway and Bow River to give Calgarians a wonderful experience.

Here are some additional photos of the building’s interior:

Simmons Building Interior

The presentation section of the main level is a beautiful and versatile space that can accommodate a variety of activities.

While plumbing, electrical and other infrastructure have been upgraded or repaired, and while most of the original structure in terms of beam layout has been maintained, the flooring remains unfinished on the second level of the building.

That’s it for this week’s Throwback Thursday.  Tune in next week and every week in 2012 for more glimpses into the past of Downtown Calgary.

Do you have any photos of downtown Calgary from the past that you’d like to share with us?  If so, send us an e-mail [email protected] and it may appear in our weekly segment!

Awesome Calgary in the News

If you missed it, AF-Calgary’s been mentioned in the news a few times in the last couple of weeks.

First, Amber Schinkel from Global TV Calgary (above) did a piece on us featuring February 2012’s co-winner John Frosst and his project Gumsphere 300 where John and his team will use the $1,000 to smoosh together a Ford Escort GT and Ford Aspire to create the final “Ford Festiva” needed to complete their fleet of eight for their traveling roadshow.

Next, Annalise Klingbeil wrote a detailed piece on our chapter which ran last week in the Neighbours section of the Calgary Herald that is a great backgrounder on the history of the Calgary chapter of the Awesome Foundation thus far.

Finally, if you’re in Alberta, check out Alberta Primetime on CTV TWO Alberta tonight (Wednesday, March 14) at 7:45 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. for their feature on Timmy’s Only, that they partially shot at last month’s Thousand Dollar Thursday.

Stay tuned later in the week for our announcement of AF-Calgary’s March 2012 Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions, and we hope you can join us for our March Thousand Dollar Thursday event next Thursday at 6 p.m. at Commonwealth Bar & Stage.

In the meantime, we’re currently accepting submissions for our April 2012 prize. To submit an idea to AF-Calgary for consideration, fill out this handy-dandy web form. The deadline for April 2012 submissions is Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.

Oh what a tangled web we weave…when first we break for lunch?

Beyond The Brink Productions Present The Servant of Two Masters

Misunderstandings abound in Beyond the Brink Production’s adaptation of Carlo Coldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters as a simpleton’s empty stomach results in almost tragic circumstances for all involved.

Of course, this production being inspired by Commedia dell’Arte (an Italian form of theatre characterized by masked stereotypical or stock characters and defined by comedic improvisation), tragedy typically isn’t an option.

The Servant of Two Masters is a cautionary tale on how a web of deceit can quickly spiral out of control as lies upon lies have to be spun to support previous lies, and the more people that are involved, the more convoluted that web can get.

The play opens with the introduction of Beatrice, a woman who has traveled to Venice assuming the identity of her late brother Federigo Rasponi in order to find his killer, who just happens to be her lover Florindo.  Florindo killed her brother Federigo in a duel when her brother forbade her to marry him.  Beatrice hopes to collect the dowry money from Pantalone, the father of Clarice (who is actually betrothed to her brother Federigo), so that she and Florindo can escape together and live happily ever after.  However, thinking that Beatrice’s brother Federigo was dead, Clarice has instead fallen in love with another man, Silvio, and the two have become engaged.  When Beatrice shows up masquerading as her brother Federigo, suffice to say, hijinks ensue.

Right away, it’s easy to see how tangled up the web of deceit is, but it is manageable.  It isn’t until the introduction of Truffaldino, the central character in this play, that things start to truly spiral out of control.  Always complaining of an empty stomach, all Truffaldino wishes to do is satiate his hunger with something to eat.  Thinking that his master is still alive (who, incidentally, is Beatrice’s brother Federigo, whose identity is now assumed by his sister Beatrice), Truffaldino accompanies “him” to Venice on “his” trip and is incredulous when he hears from Pantalone of his master’s apparent demise.  As he hungrily waits on his master who has gone off on an errand, an opportunity arises to serve another master (incidentally, Florindo) that greatly increases his chances of him getting a second meal, and it is here where we start to see things unravel as Truffaldino must work hard to keep up appearances to ensure that neither master learns of the other.  As he works harder and harder to cover his tracks, the lies pile up higher and higher eventually encompassing and affecting all the characters in the play as the consequences of said lies ripple ever outwards.

Traditional Commedia dell’arte is 100% improvised without a script, and Venetian playwright Carlo Coldoni made his mark on the genre by scripting the stories while still incorporating traditional Commedia stock characters.

Director Mike Griffin’s adaptation of Coldoni’s work preserves the essentials of Commedia while managing to make the genre accessible to new audiences.  The cast executes his vision with melodramatic flair, with grandiose gestures and over-the-top delivery of lines that, when put all together, result in an energetic performance that is a pleasure to watch.

With the exception of Catherine Vielguth who plays the character of Pantalone, all of the cast of The Servant of Two Masters play multiple roles, one with a mask and one without.

As Pantalone, Catherine Vielguth uses her mask to portray herself as Clarice’s father, an old, rich man concerned about money, but also about his daughter’s well being.

Kyall Rakoz plays both lovestruck Silvio and the indecisive Truffaldino with aplomb, rising to the physical demands of both roles by jumping, diving and combat rolling across the stage.

Cari Russell’s performance of Beatrice and Smeraldina (Pantalone’s feisty servant) is nuanced and heartfelt as she (as Beatrice) searches for news of her lover Florindo upon learning that he too is in Venice searching for her.  Russell positively dazzles when she reveals her true identity as Beatrice to all involved, and further manages to distinguish her performances beyond a simple disguise when she is pretending to be her brother Federigo and portraying herself as Beatrice.

Angela Valiant’s performance of Clarice is the epitome of a lovestruck lover, complete with charming (yet sappy) declarations of love and devotion along with the bouts of melodramatic melancholy that usually accompany such feelings during the bad times.  Her performance of Brighella is no nonsense as Brighella acts as the main force in the story trying to keep everything in order and everyone from committing actions as a result of all the lies that they may regret later.

Finally, Kelsey Flower’s portrayal of both Florindo and Dr. Lombardi is the proverbial icing on the cake as Flower tackles both roles with simple macho flair and style.  In my viewing of the production, Flower always got a pop from the audience whenever he appeared on stage.

While Commedia is generally meant to be light-hearted, it is to the credit of Director Griffin and the spectacular performance of the cast that, just for a moment, the audience could truly believe that everything could possibly fall apart in the worst way.  I can honestly say that I haven’t laughed as hard or as loud in a long time since I’ve seen this play, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good over-the-top production.

Beyond the Brink Production’s adaptation of The Servant of Two Masters runs at the EPCORE CENTRE’s Motel until Saturday, March 17 with daily shows at 8 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.  The show runs for 90 minutes with no intermission, and tickets are available (cash only) at the door and can be reserved by calling 403.461.1995.  For more details, check out beyondthebrink.ca.

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: March 12 – 18

This week features a mix of Oldtimers hockey along with autos and trucks and ways to improve your health.

Details on that and more here:

  • Oldtimers Hockey Challenge:  The Oldtimer’s Hockey Challenge is designed to give fans and players alike an opportunity to celebrate a common joy of the game, while at the same time giving much needed funds to worth organizations.  Featuring the Calgary Police Association hockey team as they take on Legendary Hockey Heroes, a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold will go to supporting under privileged children in Calgary.  Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Tickets available through Ticketmaster.
  • NHL Hockey:  The Calgary Flames play twice this week at the Saddledome.  First, they take on the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. followed by the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m.  Tickets for both games are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Calgary International Auto and Truck Show:  Presented by the Calgary Motor Dealers’ Association, the 32nd annual Calgary International Auto & Truck Show is the premiere event for auto enthusiasts to get up close and personal with the newest daily drivers and the hottest exotics.  Featuring the latest in automotive technology, true car buffs will find some of the fastest, revolutionary and most expensive automobiles in the world.  March 14 – 18 in the BMO Centre.  Tickets available at the door or online.
  • WHL Hockey:  The Calgary Hitmen also play twice this week at the Saddledome.  First, they take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Wednesday, March 14, followed by the the Kootenay Ice on Saturday, March 17.  Both games start a 7 p.m. and tickets for both are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Lady Antebellum – Own the Night 2012 World Tour:  Country pop music group Lady Antebellum is on tour promoting their latest album Own the Night and they’re coming to Calgary!  Check them out along with special guests Darius Rucker and Thompson Square on Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Saddledome.  Tickets for the show are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Calgary Health Show:  The Calgary Health Show provides new, reliable and practical diet, supplement, exercise and lifestyle tips that promote healthier living.  Featuring a daily roster of inspiring seminars with Canada’s leading health experts, an abundance of tasty food, cutting-edge health products, services and fitness techniques.  March 17 and 18 in the Big Four Building, Hall A.  Tickets available at the door.

Did you know that 2012 is the Calgary Stampede’s centennial?  There will be festivities and other celebrations happening all over the place throughout the year to help celebrate 100 years of the Calgary Stampede, so make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, make sure to visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

The March Towards Awesomeness

Just a quick note to let you know that March’s Thousand Dollar Thursday will be held at Commonwealth Bar & Stage at 731 10 Ave SW on Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m. Thursday nights are Propaganda Thursdays at Commonwealth as well, with the upstairs level featuring dance, electro and dubstep while the downstairs level features a mix of indie rock and classic rap. That all starts at 7 p.m. so make sure you stick around!


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Finally, we’re still accepting submissions for the March 2012 prize, but the deadline is coming up fast! If you have an Awesome Idea that you’d like to submit to AF-Calgary for consideration, fill out this handy-dandy web form! The deadline for submissions for the March AF-Calgary prize is Saturday, March 10 at 11:59 p.m.

We hope to see you there!