Browsing articles tagged with " events and festivals"

True North Strong and Free

Feb 13, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Culture, Reviews  //  No Comments

Yesterday was a good day to be a Canadian, but beyond that, it was a good day to be a Canadian artist. The level of artistry, skill, technical ability, and talent that went into the Opening Ceremony last night was amazing, and it made me proud to be a part of a community of artists that has the skill to pull that off. Beyond that, it was a great day for Calgary artists. The composer/music director, Dave Pierce; the assistant music director, Donovan Seidle; and the choreographer, Jean Grand-Maître, are all Calgary-based artists with huge international successes.

However, aside from the dampening of the day for the most obvious reason (and my heart just aches for the Georgian team and the Kumaritashvili family), there’s something that has been nagging at me for weeks. The more I hear of the controversy and ill-will surrounding the Games in Vancouver, the sadder it makes me. The Olympics in Calgary were such a great experience for the city — culturally, they put Calgary on the world stage, and the arts and culture (not to mention both amateur and professional sports) have flourished so much in the last 22 years due to the foundation laid by the Games — they seemed to draw the city together, not tear it apart. Read more >>

The best thing about WorldSkills

Sep 6, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

The 40th WorldSkills competition has been held in Calgary this past week — basically, it’s like the Olympics of the trades. Over 900 competitors from over 45 countries competing in 45 categories, ranging from plumbing to cooking; confectionaries to floral design; robotics to landscaping; cabinet-making to HVAC; interior design to web design; health and beauty services to fashion design. We spent a few hours wandering through, and it was a very cool experience (even though we were there for the last 3 hours of the last of 4 competition days, so we only caught the tail end of competition or finished products on display, rather than seeing the competition in full swing).

It’s the largest non-Stampede event ever held at Stampede Park; the largest event that Calgary has hosted since the ’88 Winter Olympics, with 2/3 the total number of Olympic competitors in ’88; the largest international competition after the Olympics; and quite groundbreaking for the WorldSkills competition itself, with a rather long list of “firsts” happening this year.

And the thing I was most grateful for this week?

Good weather.

I want Calgary to be recognized as the world-class, internationally-renowned city that it can be, and unseasonally cold weather can overshadow those elements to the detriment of the city’s reputation. I feel like I’m the parent of a misbehaving child when guests come to Calgary and the stereotypes about cold Canadian weather (at least, cold weather that’s not, y’know, in winter) are confirmed. But this week, all the children have behaved, and instead of having 10-degree (Celsius, of course) weather or, worse yet, frost or skiffs of snow during the first week of September, we’ve had 30-degree weather and sunny skies all week. (And this weekend, it’s cooled off a bit, so it’s more seasonal, but still nowhere near the unseasonal early-September frost and/or snow that we sometimes get.)

Because isn’t it nice that the world can go back home saying, among all the other raves and accolades about Calgary that are sure to be shared, that — hey, guess what? — Canada isn’t always cold!


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