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Jane Harris writes honest account of poverty and homelessness

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Lethbridge author Jane Harris is at Chapters in Lethbridge, from noon until 6  p.m. today (Saturday, Nov. 7,2015)  promoting her new book “ Finding Home In the Promised Land.Jane Harris is at Chapters talking about her new book. Photo by Richard Amery

 Harris combines her own harrowing tale of homelessness and abuse at the hands of her ex husband while exploring  how Canada has historically helped the poor in her new book “Finding Home in the promised land: A Personal History of Homelessness and Social Exile. On her journey, she also explores  the life of her great great grandmother and her family immigrating to Canada from Scotland in pre-Confederation Canada.

She covers a l9t of ground  in the 140 page book, plus extensive footnotes and bibliography, touching on her own family history, the history of poor houses and workhouses which gave  those down on their luck shelter  and work and helped them get back on  their feet and her first hand experience navigating the “ poverty industry” bureaucracy.

“I probably have enough information for four books,” she said, adding her publisher helped her trim down the manuscript to the 140 pages.
“I hope this book will open up a discussion about homelessness and  poverty,” she said.


Lethbridge Fashion weekend to draw southern Alberta's fashionistas to the Galt

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Lethbridge designers, vendors and restauranteurs strut their stuff this weekend as  The Lethbridge Fashion Weekend  returns to the Galt Museum, Nov. 6.

Shelly Court always looks forward to the Lethbridge Fashion Weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
The ever expanding annual event, modelled after fashion weeks in major centres like new York City,  attracted a capacity crowd last year during their first year at the Galt Museum.
 Lethbridge Fashion Weekend began in 2007. While the sale used to be the day after, the sale and show will all be on one day this year.

 “ It’s going to be  pure fun,” said Shelly Court who organizes the event with her husband and a dedicated core of volunteers.

 Six is the magic number this year with six different designers participating including “Of A Feather” from Lethbridge College Fashion design program alumni and Airdrie based  Sarah Auston, Lethbridge designers “Penny Lane” by Stephanie Hogan, “Troy Anthony Designs” from Troy Anthony,  “donell” by Donell Kollias, “Veena ” by Jena Murray, “Aniimiism” by Vancouverite Cassie Dee and “Shelly Kanyo Studios” from Court herself. Beautiful models from Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Winnipeg will be modelling the new designs.

 The event also features six vendors selling clothing, skin care products and jewelry. There will also be plenty of free food from Umani, Crazy Cakes and Cora's.
“For $20 you get free food, cheap drinks, the first 80 people get a gift bag, you get to see the clothing, the models and you get to shop,” Court enthused adding while they used to hold the sale the day after, this year the sale is right after the show tog et people while they’re inspired by the designs.

“There are also two DJs coming from Edmonton and there is an after-party at the Rogue Restaurant (in the watertower),” she added.
“It’s something different for Lethbridge and you get to dress up without being looked at funny. Though it isn’t mandatory though most people do,” she continued, noting there will be a red carpet and a professional photographer  Jayson Domingo photographing the runway action.
“People are getting excited about it,” Court continued.


Lethbridge Comicon 3 features fun for the whole family

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An expanded Lethbridge Comicon celebrates all things comics and geek culture, Oct. 16-18 in the West Pavilion of Exhibition Park.

E-Town Spidey signs autographs at Comicon,Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery
“We have TV stars, comic book creators and even more local artists and craftsmen,” said Lethbridge Comicon organizer Adam Essex, who is anticipating  between 1,500 to 2,000 people to attend the third annual event.

“And we’re doing even more for kids. So there will be more kids crafts and family entertainment,” he said noting kids 12 and under get in for free.

“There’s lots of kid’s stuff. We’re building a full scale Angry Birds slingshot and lots of crafts. There will be a guy doing 3D printing, so that will be cool for people to see,” he said.


Word The Street 2015 almost blown away from wind

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 A decent sized crowd came out on a blustery, windy day for Word On The Street outside the library downtown to officially kick off Arts Days, Sept. 20.Jolen Draper and Steve Martin Play Word on the Street. Photo by Richard Amery

 Tents billowed in the breeze a variety of authors answered questions and read from their works.

 The city  didn’t set up the stage they usually do for Word on the Street, so musicians were plugged in and literally performed their words and music on the street. 

I was volunteering at CKXU's table, so only caught a few acts. Jolene Draper's new band played a solid set of bright folk inspired pop music powered by Johnny Greenshields on guitar, Steve Martin on bass, Keenan Pezderic on drums and, of course, Jolene Draper's thin, reedy, emotive voice.Kelly Armstrong reads from one of her books. Photo by Richard Amery

 I also caught part of a powerful set from Zojo Black, who featured Steve Keenan and Greg Gomola taking turn on vocals and lead guitar, Paul Kype Local writer Megan Fennell autographs her story. Photo by Richard Amery on bass and  Brad Valgardson on drums.

They played some energetic blues, blues rock and country music  with some hot guitar playing and driving rhythm.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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