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May the Fourth be with you for this year’s Children’s festival

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Star Wars soars for  the seventh annual Lethbridge Children’s Festival which celebrates Star Wars weekend with a variety of Star Wars related activities d May 4 and 5.Darth Vader and Chewbacca hanging out with robot Yoda. Photo by Richard Amery.
There will be several Star Wars themed activities happening during the popular annual family event, including a meet and greet and photo opportunities with Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and the Star Wars van.

“There’s a slew of stuff. We have a lot going on for this children’s festival,” said Exhibition park marketing manager Doug Kryzanowski.
 The hours are Friday, May 4 from 3-8 p.m. and Saturday May 5, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

There will be over 21 entertainment and interactive events happening this year , plus a trade show, special guests and much more.
 While in previous years, some events were pay as you go, this year everything is free of charge with your $5 admission.

“We have a lot of great entertainment lined up this year for children’s festival, not only Star Wars things, but it is May 4 and Star Wars weekend, so we wanted to do a little bit of stuff based around that. But we have a lot of great children’s entertainment this year and a lot of new things this year,” said  entertainment co-ordinator Jackie French.

“One of our main acts this year is a motivational educational guy name Steve Harmer who does a motivational magic show. He’s toured western Canada he’s gone to a lot of schools, he has chosen to combine his skills as an educator and an entertainer to present motivational magic to communicate all across Western Canada. Though the use of his magic, juggling, comedy, music and storytelling, Steve delivers meaningful message that inspire educate and motivate children and adults,” she described.

 Harmer will be performing a couple shows a day on the Movie Mill Stage, located in the South Pavilion at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day.Doug Kryzanowski announces the highlights of this year’s Children’s Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
 “We also have Princess story-time. The princesses attending will be Rapunzel, Cinderella and Beauty. They will be doing an awesome stage show and storytelling show in full costumes as well as doing a singalong  with the kids,” French continued.

 After each show, twice a day they will be doing meet and greets in the enchanted forest at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m..
 “In our Star Wars interactive area we’ll be doing photo ops with Chewbacca, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren and the Star Wars van will be there. We encourage adults as well as kids to come dressed as your favourite Star Wars Character and have a chat with robotic Yoda. We will also have the Black Shadow Clone trooper mini-car in  that Star Wars interactive areas,” French said.

There will be more Star Wars photo ops with 501 first Legion Vader’s Fist.
 “They come dressed in costume and they accept donations, which are going straight to BACA (Bikers against Child abuse.).”
 Back by popular demand, VRKADE virtual reality games returns and the main pavilion will be dedicated to inflatable jumps. Wendy and the Frosty will be visiting including visits from Frosty Cup and the red heady Wendy girl herself.

 In addition to Star Wars, the Ghostbusters, Stay Puft and Ectro Truck will be on hand throughout the festival for photo opportunities.
There are several new features this year including laser tag from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day in the South Pavilion.
“New this year there will be a big area in South Pavilion for laser tag. So all the kids can come play laser tag,” she said.


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.


Jester’s Court to bring different artists together

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Jeff Godin hopes his monthly show the Jesters Court  will bring together many different artists  who will hopefully begin collaborating.
 The third edition of the Jester‘s Court is at 7:30 p.m., April 28 at Casa.

Jeff Godin  is spreading the word about the Jester’s Court three, April 28 at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery
“We have a hip hop artist, one prose writer and maybe three poets. I might bring in another poet by Skype, if not, I’ll read some of my poetry,” Godin said, adding he will have Jester’s courts  in May and June, then take a break over the Summer months.
“Everybody is away then,” he said.

“I’d like to see these artists check out the other artists and maybe collaborate with each other,” he said.

“Though that hasn’t happened yet,” he said adding he hopes all of these diverse artists will stick around to watch some of the other artists they might not usually listen to.
“Last time we had poet Blaine Greenwood and  the (local rappers) Blood Rez Crew who were going to work together, but I haven’t heard if they have, he said.
 He was inspired by a similar  event in Calgary called PAROLE, back in the ’90s.


Good causes and something to laugh about at the end of April

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Most of the best shows this week  feature local musicians playing for good causes.AMy Nelson is one of the performers at a FLIPfest Fundraiser this week. Photo by Richard Amery
The big event of the week is Heartbreak Hotel: A special Flipfest Fundraiser at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 28. Calgary based banjo picker and singer/ songwriter Amy Nelson returns to Lethbridge for the show.
Shaela Miller is also on the bill her band will also back Wanda Krein. There will be a raffle for prizes including a Dolly Parton prayer candle, country inspired pins by local artist Meghan MacWhirter, a selection of used country vinyl and more. Admission to the event is by donation. It begins at 9 p.m.

 It is competing with Maggie Hall’s annual day long fundraiser for Alzheimer’s. There will be a variety of different artists performing at Legends Pub, April 28. Bands include local country band the Mark Hall band, folk group Artemis in the Summer, electronica artist Tyler Vandendool, Calgary bluesman Eric Braun,local blues rock band Good Time Charlie, singer songwriter Bryan Horvat, local metal band Eons of Earth and 123Go. Admission is $10. The music begins at 4 p.m.

But the fun begins early in the week, April 24 with Vancouver classic rock inspired musician Terence Jack stopping by the Slice with local singer songwriter Tyson Borsboom. The early show begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.
The Slice has a busy week as the next night, April 25, they welcome back Moose Jaw based blues rockers Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities who will be playing with local alternative rock trio the Supervoid. There is a $10 cover for that show as well.

 The Slice features more alternative rock, April 27 with alternative rock band Fox Eyes, and Brooks based Celtic/punk/blues band My Tin hat and Friends. There is a minimum $5 donation for that show.
 As April draws to a close,  it means  get ready to laugh as the Owl Acoustic Lounge features their monthly stand up comedy open mic. You can also laugh at Average Joes, April 26 as local Rotarians return with 10 Rotarians and a microphone, presenting 10 different Rotary club members and stand up comedians.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. it is a fundraiser for Rotary Club of Lethbridge Mosaic. The giggles begin at 8 p.m.


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

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