Category Archives: Edmonton Arts and Entertainment

Global Visions: Canada’s longest running documentary film festival

Edmonton’s Global Visions Film Festival really seems to be going for it the last couple of years. 2013 is keeping up the momentum, as this finely edited trailer for the festival can attest:

(edited by my amazing partner in all things, Sally Poulsen.)

Yes, Edmonton’s going to have five days of award-winning, Oscar-contending, thought-provoking, spirit-uplifting documentaries screening at the Metro Cinema at The Garneau and Art Gallery of Alberta. That’s not to mention there will be healthy doses of Canadian films and shorts, and some local flavour thrown in there. (I know I keep hearing people talk about “Chasing Ice,” and, yes, that’s going to be at Global Visions.) Check out the website for a full list of movies and showtimes.

There are also a couple of neat events happening within the festival.

Saturday night at the Metro is truly a night for music. Billed as “Sound & Visions” there’s a live taping of CKUA’s Mulligan Stew, screening of the Bruce Cockburn documentary “Pacing the Cage,” a music panel discussion, screening of “The Ballad of Hugh” (a remarkable little gem of a movie), and after party shenanigans. Rock’n’roll all night indeed.

The other cool event I want to highlight is the Doc 101/Pitchfest happening on Sunday. Doc 101 will give folks in attendance some pointers and ideas on making and producing their documentary films. The Pitchfest is just that; a chance for anyone (you!) to pitch your documentary AND fictional film ideas to a panel that includes a movie producer, the National Film Board, and a HotDocs rep.

Finally, my script about introspective garden gnomes hosting a dinner party has a chance to be produced! It’s Gnomeo and Juliet meets My Dinner With Andre.

Are you going to be checking out any of the docs during Global Visions?

Hey, Edmonton Movie Makers

This guy looks like he could learn a thing or two about cameras.
This guy looks like he could learn a thing or two about cameras.

While I may not be a top-level authority on movies and television, I’ve got a couple of hot tips for you if you’re into making your own movies, television, or web videos.

Tip the first, is that actual, legitimate, successful movie producer Avi Federgreen is going to be in Edmonton over the March 2/3 weekend and he’s bringing years of movie-making knowledge with him.

On Saturday, March 2 Avi will be hosting an all-day session up at NAIT where he’ll detail how he’s made such movies as Moon Point and One Week. He’s the real deal. This full-day is only $100 – something that’s been offered in other Canadian cities at a higher cost. Get yourself over to the EventBrite for tickets now. Now!

Avi is also here for the Global Visions Film Festival (Feb. 27-Mar. 3). He’ll be taking part in a documentary filmmaking workshop on Sunday, March 3 at the Art Gallery of Alberta. If you’re into documentary film, this is the place to pick up a few tips. (The workshop is followed by a pitch session if you’ve already got some film ideas.)

Basically, if you’re at all serious about making a movie or videos, or you want some more ideas and information on how you might go about producing such a thing in Canada, find Avi on March 2/3.


The other tip I’ve got for you today relates to post-production of such movies and videos. If you don’t have the money to shell out for the Adobe Creative Collection (Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects, etc.) than consider signing up for the Adobe Creative Cloud. For $50-75/month you can have Adobe’s newest Creative Suite products for an affordable price. (It’s $75 for month-to-month and $50/month if you buy it for a year.) Creating movies, photos, websites, and apps with some of the best software around has never been so dang affordable.

This is actually how we’ll be editing the pilot episode of Startups we recently shot.


In summation: learn from Avi, produce with Adobe Cloud, become an awesome filmmaker, hire me as your butler.

CJSR Part 2: A free t-shirt for you

As I mentioned earlier this week, I think CJSR is pretty cool and it’s something you should consider donating to.

It’s time to kick things up a little though.

If you donate to CJSR you can get lots of great, free, stuff. Discount cards, music downloads, t-shirts, hoodies, good stuff. Now, you can’t get your hands on clothing until you donate at least $120, but I know the economy can be a tough old cookie. So, tell you what, if you donate between $20 and $119 to CJSR’s FunDrive I will give you the t-shirt I’ve got coming. (You can email me a screengrab of your donation or whatnot.)

That’s right. I will give you the shirt off my back* if you donate to CJSR. I think community radio is a valuable thing for us to support and sometimes you’ve just got to put your t-shirt where your blog is. Or something.

Oh, and if this somehow convinces multiple people to help out a great artistic hub of Edmonton, I shall draw names out of a hat to see which generous donor gets the t-shirt. Thanks, everybody!

CJSR t-shirt

*It’s never going to be worn by me, so you don’t even have to worry about washing it, you can just go ahead and put it right on. This just keeps getting better for you.

Community radio. Community music. Community arts. Community.

I donated to CJSR, Edmonton’s community (and campus) radio station, this morning. It’s something you should consider if you’re a fan of Edmonton music, Alberta music, eclectic and independent music, international music, alternative and probing news, and supporting volunteers.

I did it because I love Monday mornings with “Makin’ Whoopee“. Chad and Colin define what community radio is all about. They volunteer their time, they play music you won’t hear on any other radio station, including lots of local bands and artists, they support the other radio station volunteers, they keep us updated on the Asia Ice Hockey League, and they embrace the chance to tout the virtues of other volunteers, artists, and community-minded folks and efforts.

Even if I couldn’t listen to anything else on the station (88.5 on your Edmonton FM dial, for all other occasions) I would give these guys money. Of course, there are plenty of other programs on CJSR I like listening to.

All five days of the work week start with great shows, the weekend has plenty of international flavour, with members of so many of Edmonton’s vibrant communities (from the very newest immigrant nations to our city, to those who have made Edmonton home for some time) offering music from their home nations, their niche, and news and information on what’s happening locally with people sharing a culture. And if you’ve got an idea for a radio show, start volunteering today.

Plus, CJSR is just one of those hubs you find in any city.

The announcers support local artists, the artists reciprocate, and live shows happen all over Edmonton at friendly venues perpetuating the love. If you think about people and groups around Edmonton who are involved with art, music, and charity and community efforts you are not going to be very many steps removed from the little radio station in the basement of the U of A’s Students Union Building.CJSR FunDrive banner, with a radio for an ear because it's listener supported

Oh, and if all that didn’t get you thinking about donating, there’s also sweet, sweet swag.


Edmonton author Marty Chan’s got a new book about a young sasquatch. Just in time for Christmas too!

I think it’s fiction. But it all rings so true…

<a href="">LinkedTube</a>

I had a blast helping on this book trailer. And the book, Barnabus Bigfoot: A Close Shave, is a good read for the pre-teen crowd. It’s worth a look for your nieces and nephews this holiday season.