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For art’s sake get downtown for Arts Days

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The streets of Lethbridge will be alive with the sounds and sights of the local arts scene, Sept. 22-30 as Lethbridge Arts Days features events all over the city.Kelaine Devine is excited about all of the activities happening for Arts Day this year. Photo by Richard Amery
There will be buskers on the street, live music, theatre, family fun, concerts, film screenings at the Lethbridge Public Library, artist talks, art exhibits, artisan market and lots more.


Simultaneously, New West Theatre’s production of The Million Dollar quartet continues throughout ArtsDays . And exhibits continued at SAAG and Casa.
“We have a lot of projects happening at the Allied Arts Council, Casa and downstairs. There are even events at City hall,” said  Allied arts Council communication manager Kelaine Devine.
“City Hall will be lit up with full lighting red, blue and yellow, the primary colours of art,” she said.


“It’s really exciting to have their support,” she said, adding City Hall hosts  the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guilt’s  ArtWalk Quilt show beginning, Sept. 25.
A week chock full of artistic opportunities begins Sept. 22 with Word On The Street at the Lethbridge Public Library.
“It’s out eighth year,” observed festival director Elisabeth Hegerat.


 “We have authors coming from Halifax to Victoria,” she said, adding Pauline Dakin who wrote “Run Hide Repeat,” will be a highlight.
“She spent most of her childhood on the run. So It’s about her fugitive childhood,” she said, adding there are a variety of different authors including cook book authors, true life drama and comic book artists reading from their works. Some of them will have ASL sign language featured.
“Roy MacGregor writes about hockey and his time travelling with his kids across Manitoba,” she added.
 There will be familiar faces like Clifford the Dog.

 And there will be a lot of live entertainment. The event opens at 10:50 a.m. with a blessing from Francis First Charger followed by a drum circle from Thunder Chief productions. The Saints play at 11:30 a.m. followed by  Japanese Minyo Dancers  at 12:15 p.m , Fawns  at 12:30 p.m., the Lethbridge Highland Dance Association (1:15p.m.); Ezra Sulin (1:30p.m.); Black Roses for Breakfast (1:50 p.m.); Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Troop (2:15 p.m.); Jolene Draper & The Inquisitive Few (2:30 p.m.);Will Big Bull (3:15 p.m.);  Alison & Danny (3:30 p.m.) and Ecuadorian Roots (4:15 p.m.)
 And the Sik-Ohh-Koytoki Friendship Centre are erecting a teepee for First Nations storytelling. The Nikka Yuko Japanese Centre will also have a presence at the festival.

As a bonus, Library memberships will be free during Word on the Street.


A lot of art exhibits open on Monday,  a youth art exhibit opens at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and continues through the week, Kylie Fineday opens an exhibit ninoson at Street Legal Records, Arianna Richardson continued her exhibit “The Garbage Party” at Galt Gardens, Sept. 15-21 and then Sept. 22-28 in Indian Battle Park 2-4 p.m. each day, plus 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Sept. 15 and Sept. 22 . Jose Luis Torre‘s opens “The Everyday Future” in the Hess Gallery at the U of L in W600. Dr. Margaret (Marmie) Hess opens an exhibit Walter Phillips in the Helen Christou Gallery.

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Word on the Street and Lethbridge Symphony among the highlights this week

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There are a couple of big shows this week.
 Vancouver based, organ powered progressive rock band Bend Sinister stop by the Owl Acoustic lounge to play a special ticketed event, Wednesday, Sept. 19. Tickets are $10 for the show, which begins at 9 p.m. They are supporting their new CD Foolish Games. Local band the Dirti Speshuls will be opening the show.Richard Inman returns to Lethbridge this week. photo by Richard Amery
 It is a busy Wednesday as there is also an open mic at Beaches.
 The Slice hosts Port Alberni folk/ alternative rock and pop band the Chase Spencer band on Sept. 19 as well. Admission is by donation.
 Admission is also by  donation at the Smokehouse where Prairie Huckster aka  Gabriel Thaine and Aya will be playing every instrument they know, Webdnesday, Sept.19.
 There is a big alternative rock show on Thursday, Sept. 20 with Saskatoon’ grungy, noisy post punk duo  Man Meat, plus Edmonton  trio Hex Beat and local alternative rock trio MomBod. Admission is $10 for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.


On the weekend, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has their first Extras concert of the season with Musaeus performing at Fall in Strings  — a tribute to Autumn at Casa at 7:30 p.m.  featuring violinist  Isabelle Robinson, keyboardist Mary Lee Voort and  the Musaeus String quartet. The Symphony opens their series on Oct. 15 with Russian Inferno.
It that isn’t enough classical music for you, Pianist Jesse Plessis returns home to Lethbridge to perform at the Galt museum’s Piano and Pie, Friday, Sept. 21 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for youth and students.


The quick picking and velvet baritone of Winnipeg based musician Richard Inman returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Friday, Sept. 21. Fellow Winnipeg musician Dana Lee will be opening the show.
 For something different from that, bang your head at the Smokehouse as Medicine Hat thrash/punk band Western Death return to rock with local bands Chernoff, alternative rock duo Cope and High River hardcore punk band Shark Weak. There is a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 8 p.m..

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Elliott Brood hitting their stride after 15 years

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After 15 years together, Hamilton/Toronto folk/ alt country trio feel like they’re just hitting their stride. they are looking forward to returning to Lethbridge to play their usual haunt the Slice on a Tuesday, Sept. 25.Elliott Brood retuern to the Slice, Sept. 25. Photo by Richard Amery
“After 15 years or however long we’ve been together I feel we‘re just hitting our stride as a players. not that we didn’t play well before, it’s just that every night we feel like we’re playing in the pocket,” said frontman/banjo player/ guitarist and ukulele player Mark Sasso from a tour stop in Moncton. He is joined by Casey Laforet on guitar, vocals and bass pedals and  Stephen Pitkin playing suitcases, percussion and vocals.


“We‘re going back to Hamilton to play the Supercrawl festival. It’s a huge event. It’s such a great experience for us. It‘s putting Hamilton back on the map. It’s right downtown in the street.  They get like 100,000 ,150,000 people or about 50,000 people a night. It will be our third time playing it and they keep asking us back so  we must be doing something right,” Sasso continued.


“We’ve been playing a lot and touring a lot. We‘re on the east coast now, where we haven’t been for a while,” he observed.
They are still touring in support of their 2017 “Ghost Gardens,” which  is doing well with fans.
“Fans have been listening to the music and buying the album and singing the songs back to us, same as they always do, so we must be doing something right,” Sasso said.
 Part of their success is road testing new songs as they are now and will be doing in Lethbridge.

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Bend Sinister play more ’70s style pop on new CD “Foolish Games”

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Kelowna born, Vancouver based  progressive rock band Bend Sinister have simplified into more of a pop sound, though far removed from modern day Top 40 with their eleventh CD “Foolish Games.”Bend sinister return to Lethbridge, Sept. 19. Photo by Lindsey Blane
“It’s not something we meant to do. But it‘s wonderful and amazing old style stuff.  It‘s not modern pop it’s more with ’70s and ’80s pop hooks,” observed frontman/keyboardist Dan Moxon.
“ It’ s more similar to Elton John and early Billy Joel,” added Moxon, who is excited to bring the band back to Lethbridge to play a special ticketed event at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 19.


“ It’s a new venue for us,” so we’re excited to play it,” said frontman/keyboardist Dan Moxon.


 “We’ll be playing a lot of the new album and  some favourites for ‘Animals and ‘Small Fame,” he said.
Guitarist Joseph Blood is excited to be on tour  again.
“We’re enjoying the summer. We’ve played a few festivals and have taken  some time off” Blood continued, adding that will change when they start  really touring on the new album.


He said writing the music for the new CD was a more collaborative process.
“We wanted to write 35 songs for it and ended up with 25,” he said, crediting their new drummer Nick Petrowitz for the more straight ahead  rock and pop sound of “Foolish Games.”
“ A lot of it is due to our new drummer, who has been with us for two years. We all voted  on which ones to  includes and it had  to be unanimous. There’s one I really liked that didn’t make it,” he said.


“ But now, it’s shorter, more polished and cohesive,” he said.
“It has a more pop vibe. We used to have all of these seven and eight minute songs, but cut the songs down to five and six minutes long,” he continued.
“It‘s our eleventh album, so we have a lot of music to choose from,” he said.

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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

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