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Rick Mercer examines what it means to be Canadian

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To quote fellow comedic road warriors the Arrogant Worms “Canada is really big” as fellow comedic road warrior Rick Mercer will attest.
 Mercer will convey his perspective on what it means to be Canadian at the Enmax Centre, April 29.

Rick Mercer talks about what it means to be Canadian at the Enmax Centre this week. Photo by Jon Sturge, Mercer Report
It isn’t a stand -up comedy show, but is rather a celebration of Canada which is appropriate for Canada’s 150th birthday.

“It isn’t a stand up comedy show, though I do that. I talk about what it means to be Canadian,” said Mercer, who has visited every nook and cranny of Canada talking to everybody from politicians, all the living prime ministers to farmers and oyster fishermen during 15 seasons of his CBC television series “The Rick Mercer Report” and another eight seasons of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.”

“I have a map of Canada in my office with red pins showing all the places I’ve been over the past 15 years. And I can barely see the map anymore. I’m very proud of that map,” Mercer observed, noting there are still a lot of places he still wants to visit.
“Very few people get the opportunity to do what I’ve done, but there’s still plenty of places to go,” he said.

“This is what I’ve been doing for the past 15 years, so a show like this is totally within my scope,” he said.

He noted he won’t be filming anything for the show on this tour.

“I’ve had the same crew for the past 15 years, three at first, now four. But they aren’t coming with me. It will just be me,” he said.
Rick Mercer’s rants are a highlight of the Rick Mercer Report. He never has any difficulty coming up with them.
“I usually have six or seven  things I want to talk about every week though they don’t necessarily have to be funny,” he said.
“I write all of them myself on Thursday night and they air on Friday in front of the studio audience, though we don’t do them live,” he said.


Postcards and paintings at new Casa exhibits opening tonight

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Casa presents several different perspectives on painting with five new exhibits opening tonight, April 29 with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m.

Darcy Logan adjusts a painting in the Castle River & Porcupine Hills exhibit before the opening reception tonight. Photo by Richard Amery
“The exhibits are all paintings, but they are all very unique, so what I hope  people will take away from them is that they take a moment to see all of the different possibilities  painting offers,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.

In the main gallery, Pauses and Transitions features paintings from Montreal born artist Anne Laure Djaballah. She earned her MFA from the U of L two years ago and has been working out of the McNally School studios.

“These paintings are more abstract. They represent landscapes and alleys she has seen while walking and reflecting,” Logan described, indicating an abstract painting of a pile of trash in an alley.
“ She also asks the view to explore the  nature of painting with brush strokes and colours,” he continued.

 The adjacent gallery features “The Castle River & Porcupine Hills featuring the works of Lethbridge artist Blake Wilson and  Mike Judd, who lives in the Castle River area.

“These paintings  capture  the poetry of natural environment,” Logan said, adding Blake Wilson is an active member of the Lethbridge art community.
“ He’s been involved in multiple group exhibits here,” Logan said.


Eclectic week of laughter, loudness and great music

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April winds down with an eclectic selection of entertainment happening.

 Tonight there are several excellent shows happening.

Juno Award winning bluesman Paul Reddick is  at the Geomatic Attic beginning at 8 p.m., April 25.Outrun the Arrow play the Smokehouse with Sleep Science, April 28. Photo by Richard Amery

 After that finishes, things heat up at the Slice with indie rock/ roots groups the matinee and  the Fast Romantics performing.

Then, get over hump day with laughter at the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s stand up comedy open mic, Wednesday, April 26.
That same night, if you missed them at the Casino on the weekend, or just want a second helping of the blues, local blues rock band  Zojo Black play the Slice.

There is an array of music happening on the weekend, with an emphasis on country and folk music.
 Winnipeg bluegrass band the D-Rangers are back together and stopping by the Slice, Friday, April 28 for what should be an exceptionally energetic and sweaty show at the Slice. They will  be performing with fellow Winnipegger, indie folk musician Okay Mann aka Katlin Mathison and  Edmonton indie folk trio Post Script.
The Red Hot Hayseeds are at the Owl Acoustic lounge on Friday, April 28 as well.

For the complete opposite to that, The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Museaus Extras series features Strings Sing at the Cité des Prairies at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $25 for the concert or $50 for the full experience including  dessert and a meet and greet before the concert. the program features Alexander Borodin String Quartet No 2 (Scherzo & Nocturne)
Léo Delibes — Flower Duet from Lakmé; Franz Schubert —Death and the Maiden Quartet and
Giuseppe Verdi — String Quartet in E Minor (Scherzo & Trio) .

 For the opposite again, the Smokehouse is starting to host more shows.
Local hard rock band Outrun the Arrow will be performing with Vancouver’s Sleep Science. The show begins at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover.


Petunia preparing for new album and new movie role

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There‘s no moss on Vancouver roots musician Petunia.Petunia returns to the Slice this week. Photo by Richard Amery

  He plays Lethbridge quite a bit, most recently for New Year’s Eve at the Slice.
 He returns to the Slice, April 29 with long time collaborator Nathan Godfrey.

 In addition to a lot of touring, Petunia recorded the follow up to last year’s CD “Dead Bird on the Highway” in Nanton with producer Steve Loree and has embarked on an acting career.

“I’ve been in Portland rehearsing for  new movie called the Musicianer about a singer in the 1920s who does not age. We start filming it in June,” said Petunia, having lunch in Vancouver, noting it will only take seven days to shoot his part.
“I’m only in half of it. I wrote a song for it and they‘re using some of my music in it.

He is excited to work with film maker/ writer /musician Beth Harrington, who also used to play with Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.
“She also  did a  movie called  the Winding Stream about Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Johnny idolized her mother Maybelle Cash. Before that she did a movie about women in Rockabilly about women like Wanda Jackson, so it’s like she’s been researching this movie for the past 20 years,” Petunia enthused.


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

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