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Kat Kado telling the story of Cougar Annie at SAAG

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Vancouver Island based musician Katrina Kadoski combines art with music as she recounts the tale of Vancouver Island character and all round touch, resourceful woman Cougar Annie in her one woman show “Cougar Annie Tales.”Kat Kado brings Cougar Annie Tales to the SAAG this week. Photo submitted
 She brings Cougar Annie Tales to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Sunday, April 22 with a multi-media presentation including video, photographs and music, followed by a performance  by The Edgedwellers, her duo with Peter Wahl.

“Cougar Annie moved to Canada to avoid  marrying a man her father wanted to marry. She outlived four husbands and six of her children  (she had a total of 11 children) and  is reputed to have shot 70 cougars, which is why people call her Cougar Annie,” said Kadoski, who performs under the name Kat Kado.

“ You have to be  pretty resilient person to lead a life like that, so that really inspired me,” she said, adding she found a lot  of inspiration in Annie’s story and decided to create a multi-media performance based on her life  from 1915-83.

“It’s a one woman play, but there are other components like visual and audiovisual aspects as images of letters and photos are displayed behind me during the show,” she said,” adding moving to Vancouver Island and learning about Cougar Annie inspired her.

“I  was between jobs and got a job as a caretaker north of Tofino. I actually first learned about her on a first date, so that encouraged me to research her life. She spent a lot of time at the Cougar Annie museum and read  Margaret Horsfield’s book“ Cougar Annie’s Garden” about Cougar Annie as well as  talked to some of the people who knew her.


LIFS brings local film makers together

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Horror is in the blood for local film maker Charlie Christensen.
 Last April, Christensen and director /writer Thorsten Nesch entered the Straight 8 film competition, with a three minute some short called Scarlett Gloves based on a Sir William Scott short story.Charlie Christensen and Thorsten Nesch with a photo of the actors from #partytime. Photo by Richard Amery
“It is an 8 mm film competition. So you have to shoot it all on one roll of film. There are no edits. That’s part of the challenge. The deadline was last April. I couldn’t go, because I’m broke, but just to make the cut was impressive,” Christensen said, adding the winners of that were screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

 They didn’t even get to see the final product as they had to send the film undeveloped.

Local composer Nick Bohl, who worked on Christensen’s full length horror feature the Harvestman, in 2009. They synchronized the music with the film without seeing it as well.
“It’s about a man who becomes so engrossed in a story that it becomes real,” Christensen said.

The duo are part of a new Lethbridge not-for profit independent film collective called LIFS (Lethbridge Independent Film Society) featuring film makers, writers, directors and producers.
They meet every month to talk about films, film making, strategies, skills, grant application and work together on each other‘s projects. The group, which formed a year ago, currently has 20 members.
“We’ve had two events to screen each other‘s projects— one in November and the other in April, Christensen said.

“It’s great, there is so much talent here,” said Nesch, who is a best selling and award winning author and playwright in Germany.
He moved to Canada with his wife and settled in Victoria  and then Calgary before finding Lethbridge was not only cheaper to live, but also discovering how much talent there is here.
“I was really amazed by how much talent there is in this city of 100,000,” Nesch said.

“I have published 14 novels in Germany in all different genres. I’m a publisher’s nightmare. They want me to  write the same thing over again, but I don’t want to do that. I write horror, adventure and even humour. I can be funny even though I’m German,” he laughed.


Great stories will mark this week

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Storytelling is the essence of great songwriting. This week’s highlights include some performers who have interesting stories to tell.
 Winnipeg musician Dave Quanbury was forced to leave the United States where he had been calling Austin, Texas home for several years, but had to return home.

The Ashley Hundred return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 The experience of being separated from his new bride and friends and bands inspired him to  write a new album, “ Still life With Canadian,”  for which he is touring in support of including  a stop at the Slice, April 21.
Vancouver Island musician Kat Kado, got inspired by an interesting part of Canadian history — the story of Cougar Annie,which inspired a constantly expanding one woman multi-media show— Cougar Annie Tales
 She visits Lethbridge for the first time , Sunday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge welcomes the Watoto choir to the First Baptist Church, April 20 at 7 p.m. The choir includes orphans and vulnerable children from Uganda who bring worship music from the Watoto Church in Uganda.
 Watoto Church formed during the civil war in Kampala, Uganda and placed thousands of orphans in families, empowered vulnerable women, rescued babies and former child soldiers and sent children“s choirs all over the world. Admission to the concert is free, though donations to Watoto will be accepted.

Classical music fans will want to be at La Cité Des Prairies for The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Chamber series C featuring Musaeus String quartet performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Adagio-Allegretto;
Franz Schubert’ String Quartet in E Flat Major and Antonín Dvořák’s String Quintet in G Major.
 There are lot of other fun shows happening as well.


Dave Quanbury turns U.S ban into something positive

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Though it might not have seemed like it at first, Getting banned form the United States may be the best thing that ever happened to Winnipeg musician Dave Quanbury, who returns to the Slice, April 21 in support of his new album “Still Life With Canadian.”

“ It’s about me getting banned from the United States for five years,” said Quanbury, who was last in Lethbridge last May.

Dave Quanbury returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 He was living in Austin with his wife, who was attending university in the Texas capital, when authorities found he didn’t have a green card, which forced him to move back to Winnipeg in 2014 and caused him to undergo an existential crisis and a tough period of self reflection and life assessment.

“I married my wife there, but it’s not enough. I could have applied  for a green card, but didn’t. So that was definitely part of it,” noting he got turned away trying to cross the border.
“I had no funds, no stuff, no  job or home and had to move in with my sister and I had to couch surf,” he said.

“I couldn’t see my wife. I was playing in several bands down there. I had a life down there. My friends had to send me my stuff and I had to give away a piano I had down there because I didn’t know what else to do with it,” he said, noting that experience inspired him to write songs.

“I wrote more in that first year than I ever had before. I was inspired by that existential crisis and extreme depression. I wrote all the songs on my own and had to turn it in to something I thought people would want to listen to,” he said, adding it also lead to a stylistic change.

“When I was in Austin, I had just released an album of New Orleans inspired big band music. When I moved back I started using more drum machines and synthesizers, he said, adding it is also a far departure from the folk and country music he made with his popular duo with Brandy Zdan in Twilight Hotel.

“I still sing some of the songs I sang with them, but wouldn’t want to try to sing the songs Brandy sings. Nobody wants to hear that,” he chuckled, adding he hasn’t seen her for years.


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