It may be a little off the beaten track, but the Alberta Railway Museum is worth the drive if you’re a history buff – or the parent of small children. In fact, when my family and I ventured over on Sunday, June 15 (Father’s Day), the majority of people there were young families, often with grandparents in tow. What a great way to get kids hooked on history!
I hadn’t heard of Edmonton’s City Hall School program until instructor and coordinator Linda Hut contacted me this spring. Now I’m a huge fan – especially after getting to take part in a session earlier this month. On Friday, June 13, I got to attend the wrap-up event and was inspired by the student reps and all the kids (and grownups) who came out to mark their achievements this year. Here are a few photos from the celebration!
On Friday, June 6, I had the pleasure of meeting with a dozen residents in the colourful art studio at River Ridge. The workshop was part of an outreach program sponsored by the Creative Age Festival and allowed me to connect with these lovely folks from Memory Lane, a unit that caters to people with different levels of dementia. We had a great time drinking coffee, eating snacks, sharing laughs, and looking at photos from their amazing lives to come up with inspiration for character, setting, plot, and theme in various writing genres. At the end of the session, the artist in residence, Carly, suggested we work together to brainstorm details from one photo. I chose the following image from a series I discovered online, and these creative minds came up with great ideas, some drawn from their own experiences (Uncle Frank, sen-sen candies) and others out of their imaginations. The Creative Expression Director at River Ridge, Nicole Collyer, was kind to say the following: “I just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your workshop with our residents and staff. They definitely had a wonderful time. It was nice to see the collaboration between you and Carly to help our residents get the most out of the Art Workshop.” p.s. Thanks to Christina for her help as well!
THE GREAT EDMONTON ELEPHANT STAMPEDE OF 1926
Wednesday, June 11 at 6pm
Friday, June 13 at 8pm
at The Living Room Playhouse
created, composed and performed by Rebecca Lappa
In 1926, the Sells Floto Circus parade turned into a full on stampede in down town Edmonton as a herd of elephants escaped from their enclosures. Singer-songwriter Rebecca Lappa returns to the Azimuth stage after last year’s Nextfest hit “The Earl” to perform all nineteen characters in this one-woman folk opera based on a true, local story.
With the 100th anniversary of the First World War upon us, I’ve had the privilege to research and think about this conflict in more depth than I have since I wandered around Montreal and Ottawa in undergrad snapping photos of war memorials. I was following in the footsteps of historian Jonathan Vance, whose wonderful book, Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War, helped put me on the path to a career in history. Here are a few resources I recently turned to, to understand the “Great War” (and how we remember it) in all its complexity:
- Margaret MacMillan, The War that Ended Peace
- David J. Bercuson, The Patricias: A Century of Service
- Norman Leach, Passchendaele: Canada’s Triumph and Tragedy on the Fields of Flanders
- and Edmonton’s own Marion Brooker, who wrote Hold the Oxo! based on the letters of 18-year-old Jim, who died at the Somme
I also found the CBC’s Michael Enright’s collected conversations on the topic incredibly interesting when I heard it on a recent edition of Ideas. What’s your favourite WWI book, film, radio documentary, or other resource?