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Music and books for Word on the Street

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Word on the Street was a lot of fun on a brisk, Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23 outside the downtown Lethbridge Public Library.The Junkman’s Quire’s Megan Brown bundled up during their set at Word on The Street, Sept. 25. photo by Richard Amer

Jaron Weasel bear demonstrates  the crow hop at Word on the Street. Photo by Richard Amery
 Local Jazz/ rock/ Celtic band The Junkman’s Quire, clad in toques and jackets played their usual upbeat set of Cello tinged folk and Celtic  music.

Megan Brown  strummed guitar and sang as frontman George Fowler sat and played cello.

As expected, Word on the Street is all about books and reading.

I took in parts of several panels on Blackfoot storytelling and learned a little about the meaning behind pow wow drumming.

Other tents featured an assortment of authors reading from their works, while a panel of mystery writers answered questions  from a curious crowd about where their ideas come from.

Constance Douglas talks about Schnoogy at Word on the Street. Photo by Richard Amery— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor

Oktoberfest winds up ArtsDays

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Get a taste of German culture, not to mention German beer with the sixth annual Oktoberfest which returns to Galt Gardens, Sept. 29-30.John and Roy Pogorzelski are excited to celebrate Oktoberfest, Sept. 29 and 30 in Galt Gardens with a toast.Photo by Richard Amery
“Oktoberfest is celebrated all over the world, like St. Patrick’s Day,” said Roy Pogorzelski, who is organizing the event with his brother John.

“ This year there are twice as many Pogo Brothers, we’re both MCing this year,” added John Pogorzelski, noting he has usually taken care of the logistical side of organizing this massive event while his brother has handled organizing the entertainment.

 In addition to special German style beer brewed by local brewery Theoretical Brewing, there will be live German music from Alpen Schatz, who have performed every year since the event began, but also new band the Polkaholics who are performing for the first year as well as Note-Able.

 The event  has been very popular since it’s beginning.
“Last year we had 4 or 5,000 people filtering in and out of here last year. They drank us out of beer last time, but that’s not going to happen this year, we bought a lot more beer this year,” Roy Pogorzelski said.

 Alpen Schatz,  playing Oktoberfest last year, will be back in Galt Gardens, Sept. 29-30. Photo by Richard Amery
 Oktoberfest continues to expand.
“This year we‘re hoping for 6 or 8,000 people. We’re hopeful mother Bavaria looks favourably upon us and gives us good weather,” he said.

“We started in Festival square, but moved it to Galt Gardens so more people could come,” Roy Pogorzelski said, adding improvements this year include ATMs and more bathroom access on site this year as well.

“We also have a family area this year, because we had people asking for one, so there will be face painting and games until a reasonable hour like 8 p.m.,” he continued.

Oktoberfest runs from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Sept. 29 and 30.


Lethbridge College celebrate 60 years with Couleefest

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Lethbridge College celebrates 60 years with Couleefest, a big free party in the middle of campus, Sept. 23.

Kari Bird is excited about  Couleefest, Sept. 23 at Lethbridge College. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s a big celebration for the College’s 60th anniversary,” summarized organizing committee Chair Kari Bird, noting the event has been a collaborative effort between students, faculty and all of the departments.

“ We felt we should something special for our sixtieth anniversary, so we thought holding a big, free party  on campus would be perfect,” she continued.
 There will be events both indoors in the food court as well as a beer gardens outside where four bands will be playing beginning with opening ceremonies at 1:30 p.m. with eight Indigenous dancers and drummers.

 They will be followed by local country band Hurtin’ around  2 p.m., then local  blues rock band the Steve Keenan Band will follow around 3 p.m.. Local funk/ rock/ disco/pop orchestra Hippodrome will be on stage around 4:15 p.m. and Calgary based east Coast style band 3 Finger Shot, will end the festivities with a set at 6:15 p.m.


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
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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