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Word on the Street kicks off eventful Arts Days this week

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Get the Word, outside the Lethbridge Public Library downtown, Sept. 23.Elisabeth Hegerat is ready for Word on the Street, Sept. 23. Photo by Richard Amery
 Another exciting Artsfest begins with the seventh annual Word On The Street, Sept, 23 outside the downtown branch of the Lethbridge Public Library.
 Some of the highlights include plenty of authors, live music from Karen Romanchuk, The Bryant Watson Duo, Junkman’s Quire, Beyond Crimson, Dale Ketcheson and Kavanagh and Hepher, food trucks and a lot more.


“There will even be a life sized ‘Where’s Waldo,” noted festival director Elizabeth Hegerat, noting there are a few new features this year.
“Kapow Comics will have a comic and graphic novel tent with local comic creator Eric Dyck and Calgary comic artist Sam Hester. And the Piikani First Nations will be bringing their tipi,” she said.


Word on the Street have expanded the kids’s tent this year with appearances by authors Margaret Ruurs (Stepping Stones), “ Governor General Award winning author and illustrator Barbara Reed ( Picture A Sky), Ruby Slipperjack (Dear Canada:These Are My Words) Kevin Sands ( The Assassin’s Curse) and  Svetlana Chmakova (Brave).


Hegerat is looking forward to author Joy Kogawa author of Obasan and the recently released her memoir  “Gently to Nagasaki.”
She is also excited to feature Ian Hamilton, author of  “The Courturier of Milan,” which is part of the Ava Lee series.


There are plenty of Southern Albertan authors participating including Calgary based author Sharon Butala and local author Richard Stevenson.
 Word on the Street begins with a Blackfoot Blessing from Elder Francis First Charger who will also be sharing Blackfoot stories at noon, which will be followed by a scavenger Hunt beginning at 11 a.m.


Hegerat is looking forward to a panel discussion “ What To Do If A Cartoonist Moves Next Door featuring Eric Dyck and Sam Hester.
 There is a bigger Blackfoot presence at this year’s festival with  the tipi set up demonstration at  11:15, which will host Blackfoot stories with Francis First Charger at noon, a Blackfoot Language lesson with Beverly Hungry Wolf at 1, a pow wow drumming workshop with Jaron Weasel Bear, at 2 p.m., a Métis culture and history lesson with Rod McLeod at 3 and much more.


There are also collaborations with other community groups including the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens, who present  Story-time with Tad and Tomo at 1p.m. and  Nikkei Cultural Society of Lethbridge and area presenting Minyo Dancers at 4:14.  The Lethbridge Pride Fest feature storytelling with drag queens at 3 p.m.


 But why restrict interest in books and reading to Word on the Street, you can get your library membership renewed for free at Word on the Street.
“It’s bigger and better than ever,” enthused Lethbridge public library communications co-ordinator Bernice Duguay.
“We’re hoping we’ll get more people than last year,” Hegerat added.
The full schedule is online at https://thewordonthestreet.ca/lethbridge/.
Word on the Street kicks off a week of arts related fun with the seventh annual Arts Days festival, which is part of the 14th annual Art Walk, which pairs local artists with local businesses, in which they will be creating art on the spot in several cases.


“We’ll have 75 artists in 40 different venues around downtown,” said Allied Arts Council project co-ordinator Muffy McKay.
“We‘re planning a lot of different events with a lot of events that were already happening this week,“ McKay continued.
After checking out  the ArtWalk and getting your passport stamped through “Stomp N’ Stamp” and entering your name into a draw for an original painting by local artist Aaron Hagan, stop by Galt Gardens, Sept. 29 and 30 for a beer and German themed fun with Oktoberfest

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Lots of metal and Couleefest to be highlights this week

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 It’s a great week for metal, with a couple of excellent metal shows happening at the Smokehouse.

The Ashley Hundred return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept.23. Photo by Richard Amery
 On Sept. 23 , the U of L Headbanger’s Society present their first show of the season at the Smokehouse with  Vancouver rock/ metal  band Of Artistry with local rock/metal bands Caste of Shadows and Sidestepping the Sun and To The Mountains Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door, Doors open at  6 p.m.
 If that wasn’t enough metal in your face the next night, Sept, 24, get ready to bang your head and thrash the night was with veteran Calgary metal band Divinity who  are supporting their new CD The Immortalist. They will be joined by Vancouver’s Expain and local screamo band the Avulsion.
 The early show starts at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.


For the diametric opposite  to that, get your ’90s pop fix this week as the I Love the ’90s tour stops by the Enmax Center, Thursday, Sept. 21 with Vanilla Ice, Salt N’ Pepa, Rob Base, Young MC and CC and Music Factory.
 Tickets are $65, $85 and $102. The show begins  at 7 p.m.


The Smokehouse features a big hip hop show in between all the metal, Sept. 22 with Pimpton’s Canadian tour stopping by with special guests Kwame Dolo and Dusty Wallace and local support from Trey Mark, LRev & Heavy Knowledge, Knox and xRGx.
Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Also on Thursday, get ready to laugh as the Jokers Gone Wild tour returns to Casino Lethbridge. This month features Lars Callieou, Martin Mor and Gordon Souther. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.


The Slice is all about rock this weekend with local bands To The Mountains From the Flame and Quick Draw performing at night on Sept. 22. Gabriel Thaine is playing a special, laid back happy hour show at 5:30 p.m.
 On Sept. 23, the Slice features Vancouver indie pop band Goodwood Atoms, Saskatoon punk band Owners and local indie rock band the Utilities. There is a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.

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Emerson Drive flying high with latest hit “Just Got Paid”

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Emerson Drive are glad to be back on the road in support of their new hit single “Just Got Paid,” which was released in May and has become an immediate fan favourite.
 The Grande Prairie born, Nashville/Maine  based band play Average Joes, Sept. 24 with Mark Maxwell opening the show at 8 p.m.

Emerson Drive’s Brad Mates playing Average Joes last year. Photo by Richard Amery
 Emerson Drive are known for recording numerous hits in their past 20 years as a band, including “ I Should Be Sleeping,” “I’ve Had My Moments,” “ She’s my Kind of Crazy” and “Countrified Soul,” and many others including “Just Got Paid.”


“That was written by Tebey (Ottoh and Jared Sciullo, Dee Jay Silver, ) and  a couple of guys from Nashville. It’s doing great,” said  Maine resident  and Emerson Drive frontman Brad Mates, rejoining his bandmates guitarist Danick Dupelle , drummer-Mike Melancon and keyboardist Dale Wallace  in Nashville to rehearse for the  quick Canadian tour, which includes the Lethbridge stop.


“ We’ve known Tebey for 10 or 12 years, so he knows  what songs we like and the sound we‘re going for. It (“Just Got Paid”) is a great summer song. And people like it. We were playing a festival and within a few seconds, they were singing it back to us. So we looked at each other and we grinned ear to ear,” Mates said.
 They were considering  recording a full length CD but may just release new music as singles.

“ We‘re about half done it. But we like it when a song comes in that just beats all the others we’ve already recorded,” he continued.

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Divinity carefully craft new concept EPs and sound of metal

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Calgary extreme metal band Divinity have been carefully crafting their show and their sound for 20 years.Divinity play the Smokehouse this week. Photo submitted
 After several line up changes and instrument shifts within the band, they re-released two previous EPs and a new third EP together as a concept album “ The Immortalist.”

They play the Smokehouse with Vancouver metal band Expain and the Avulsion.


“ Sean (Jenkins, vocalist) and I formed the band around 2001 02 2002, observed guitarist James Duncan, noting they just added  a second guitarist, Gord Olson who joins vocalist Jeff Waite, bassist Keith Branston and Duncan’s brother Brett on drums.


Duncan noted the band takes a lot of time to create the many layers of their music.
“There’s 30 or 40 guitar tracks and a dozen vocal tracks. So I had to decide what to play live. Even the synth parts were written on guitar,” he said having the second guitarist helps the band play more of the songs, not to mention gives them the opportunity for harmonized leads.


 He noted Olson is a long time friend of the band who they asked to join about four years ago, but was unable to  due to other commitments.
“We can play really heavy rhythms and go right into a harmonized lead sections like Iron Maiden it really fills out the sound,” he said.


While the album is meant as a concept album, Duncan said the individual songs  stand on their own, so they aren’t playing it in order.
“We thought about doing that, but instead we want  to draw people into the show by playing a couple of our loudest, heaviest  songs,” 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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