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Youth plan to ignite change by talking human rights

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LETHBRIDGE — An Edmonton-based non-profit organization, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC), has partnered with several Lethbridge groups and individuals, including the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge, Amnesty International Lethbridge, the Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge, Gay And Lesbian Alliance of Lethbridge, Lethbridge Family Services, and Lethbridge Immigrant Services to deliver a human rights youth conference to be held in Lethbridge on October 6, 2010.

The Rural Youth Forum (RYF) is a day of dialogue, workshops and presentations on human rights that highlight resources and organizations that youth can utilize to create positive changes in their community.  

The one-day event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Coast Lethbridge Hotel, 526 Mayor Magrath Drive South. There is also no charge to attend, but space will be limited so registration is recommended.

Who should attend? The program will be geared towards 13-25 year olds with the goal of connecting people who are interested in finding out more on local issues and projects with the organizations and individuals who are advocating equality in Lethbridge and surrounding communities. The RYF also promotes active citizenship and the event will close off with a panel discussion featuring several mayoral candidates. Though the RYF takes place in Lethbridge, the organizers are working to bring in delegates from areas around the city as well.

The RYF is preceding a conference hosted by the City of Lethbridge and Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD) on Celebrating Diversity in our Community, which runs from October 7th-8th at the same location.

The John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights is a non-profit human rights organization located in Edmonton, Alberta dedicated to human rights education. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Lorinda Peel
403-758-6713 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

— Submitted to L.A. Beat


Hoodoo Voodoo is a violent and hilarious hoot

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If Kevin Smith and View Askew productions (Dogma, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)  produced an action film, the result would be something like local action film “Hoodoo Voodoo,” which has been screened at the university over the past week and which concludes tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

The premiere last Thursday, Sept. 21, was sold out and featured most of the cast and crew in the audience, who cheered wildly as every name flashed across the screen.

Hoodoo Voodoo, produced by Rambunxious Skuter Productions Inc.,  directed by Aaron Kurmey and written with star Ryan Hatt and Kevin Johnson,  starts simply enough with a stakeout which is followed by a multiple shooting at the hands of a pair of corrupt cops, who are likable, yet homicidal policemen, who trade Tarantino meets Kevin Smith style  dialogue.

Unfortunately the murders are witnessed by a washed up detective, played by New West Theatre veteran Scott Carpenter, which is where things start to get bloody as the detective records the incident.
Cut to the badlands, and this is where the action begins.

While there is no justifications for the original murders, that doesn’t matter, it’s the action that counts.


Theatre Xtra explores Muse Control

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Muse Control starts Sept.30. Photo by Richard Amery

For many years, Theatre XTra  has been an outlet for students who want to put on their own plays, however,  to begin their season this semester, they will actually be putting on a play one of the students wrote themselves.


“Muse Control,” written by James Wade, won first prize  in the University of Lethbridge Plays and Prose Competition, March 18, will take the stage at the David Spinks Theatre, Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said  Wade.


“I just like the concept of  the muse. The Greeks used them pretty seriously,” he continued adding we don’t hear much about muses inspiring  art and music in modern times.

“It’s a pretty simple concept — a muse who inspires creativity. I thought if I made the muse an actual creature, it would make for a pretty funny play,” he continued.


Director Katheryn Smith, wanted to direct the play as soon as she read it.


“Basically it’s about a struggling artist named Roy who is in his  early 20s whose best friend is an artist who gets all of his inspiration for creativity  from a  creature called a muse,” Smith said  as actors Brett Gortley, Devon Brayne and Camille Pavlenko ( who also appears in locally shot films, “Dilemma” and “Hoodoo Voodoo”) run through a scene.

“He goes in search of his muse, which changes his life, mostly for the worse,” she continued, adding it will be her debut directing a performance.



For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again an homage to mothers

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If you recognize actor Marek  Czuma as  the lead bad guy in local action film Hoodoo Voodoo, playing at the University of Lethbridge this week, you might be surprised to see his more tender side in New West Theatre’s new two person production of Michel Tremblay’s comedy “For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again” which runs at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Sept. 30-Oct. 9.

Marek Czuma and Karen  Johnson-Diamond rehearse. Photo by Richard Amery


“I get to play a good guy in this one,” said Czuma who is no stranger to New West Theatre as he was in last year’s production of “Sitting  On Paradise.”


“It (For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again) is about an artist, an autobiography of author Michel Tremblay who wanted to bring his mother back from the grave because she was his biggest inspiration and supporter when he was trying to become a playwrite,” described, who earned his MFA from the University of British Columbia and has been acting for the past 20 years in a variety of projects on the West Coast.


“She was a wonderful person and a great storyteller. It’s a very heartwarming photo album of events in his life,” he continued adding he is glad to be back with New West Theatre.


“I love the folks here. I like working with New West. They are very warm and kind people. And there’s no pressure,” he continued.

Director Grahame Renyk, who is usually  the witty and affable MC of New West’s summer music/ comedy revues, took the Fall off from his day job, as a drama professor at Queen’s University in Kingston to direct “For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again.”

“It’s been a delightful experience because these are two really great parts for actors,” Renyk said.


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