Pay It Forward

Musicians helping more musicians get here.

By Erin Land (cross-posted from

If you had all the money in the world, and could do anything you wanted, what would you do? That is precisely what James Seabrook of Two Bodies of Water Productions asked himself when he came up with the “Pay it Forward” program.

“Why wait until I’m rich? I have unique opportunity right now. I have something that is needed and the means to give it, something I’ve never had before in my life. I guess I just feel it’s my turn to give back,” Seabrook explained.

Pay it Forward is a new initiative, aimed at helping local talent achieve their dreams of recording in a professional setting and perhaps launch a career that will span a lifetime. Completely free of charge!

Seabrook’s studio has been growing a Community Fund since the beginning of June. Artists that pay for studio time are asked where they would like to donate 10% of their purchased time. Some choose to donate the funds to friends, whereas others have chosen to donate the time back to the studio – for newer artists or projects within the community that can take advantage of the cache.

Back on September 1st, a submission form appeared online for the opportunity to use studio time for your recording needs. A panel that consists of Edmonton music industry professionals and local music lovers have volunteered their time to review the submissions and award the studio time to artists or groups they feel are the most deserving of the opportunity.

There are going to be four allotments of five hours awarded; two sessions in November, and two in December.

What will happen in 2012? Seabrook says he’d really like to see the program turn into a regular grant or bursary that can have a much larger impact. Ideally, the program would expand across the prairies, perhaps all of western Canada. Without any corporate sponsorship or investors, the program will continue to grow based on current recording artists contributing to the Community Fund, as they have since June of this year.

The deadline for the first round of submissions will be September 29, 2011. For more information on the Pay It Forward program, or to create your online submission you can view the Two Bodies of Water website.

A Sister Gray Giveaway

What are you doing Friday night?

Sister Gray are having a single release party at New City Legion. And they want you to join them. (You might remember them from a previous post, and they being Sonic’s Band of the Month earlier this year.)

They really want you to be there. So, they’re offering up a pair of tickets to the show. It’s going to be a good one too. With Cygnets, The Frolics and a new band; Very Dangerous Animals. That’s an all-Edmonton lineup.

What? Two tickets isn’t enough to convince you?


How about two tickets to the show, two download cards of Sister Gray’s new single, AND two t-shirts? Yeah, now we’re talking.

The new single, by the way, will prepare you for the new album, likely to come at the beginning of 2012 according to the sisters Graling.

Drop us a comment to be entered into a draw for the prizes. We’ll draw a winner at 5pm today. You can’t have won anything from us in the last 30 days and must be ready to have a good Friday night. The winner will be contacted by e-mail.

Keep the Change (you filthy animal)

Ah, tipping. One of those societal items that can spark debate, anger, mistrust, and leave service staff smiling or fuming. Such a range of reactions and impact for such a small act (and sometimes a small amount of money).

Way back at some point you heard about Steve Dublanica’s “Waiter Rant,” a bestselling book about being a waiter and bringing food to others, right here at this web log.

Well, I’m not sure how the Internet tubes work, but that somehow made its way to New York City, and a senior marketing manager, and yadda, yadda, yadda, we’ve got some free books for you.

Dublanica has followed up Waiter Rant with “Keep the Change: A clueless tipper’s quest to become the guru of the gratuity” – which is all about tips, tipping, and what those on the receiving end of our tips think about us. (Heck, we’ve all worked service jobs, we know what we think of them too.) Dublanica goes through various businesses and industries; wait staff, hotel staff, mechanics, baristas, bartenders, the people cutting your hair, driving your cabs, moving and delivering your stuff, even strippers and bathroom attendants.

So, basically, once you finish the book you will be a tipping genius. (Which, one would hope, would equal the best possible service.)

But, because we always want to make sure you’re paying attention, how about you drop some great “tip” stories into the comments and I enter y’all in a draw. We’ve got 3 copies of  Keep the Change for you. And, hey, if you want to have a conversation about gratuities we’re up for that too.

Just remember to leave us a nice tip.

*I’ll pull names on Thursday afternoon, say around 4pm. You can’t have won anything from us in the last 30 days. (Not even if you slip us a $20.)

Gonna Make You Sweat

workout, exercise, mat, alberta legislature, spring

Since we’re always looking for excuses to plug our ShawTV show “the edmontonian presents” (Sunday nights at 9pm on Shaw cable channel 10), we figured we could do so every now and again while actually making it worth your while.

If you’ve seen episode 3: spring then you know there are exercise workstations through the Alberta Legislature pedway. There’s even a workout mat for you to use at one of them. (Something we did not know before working on the show and exercising with Defining Eve’s Alex.)

So, we’ve got a lovely Edmonton prize pack from Whyte Avenue print/art shop Vivid Print for someone who works out down there.

Just e-mail us a photo of you working out at one of the the Alberta Legislature pedway exercise stations, or post a link to a photo in the comments (if you Twitpic, upload to Flickr, or something like that), and we’ll enter you into a draw for:

That’s a whole lot of great Edmonton landmarks and locations (including the Alberta Legislature). Plus, you’d be getting some exercise. It’s winning all around!

*We’ll be accepting exercise photos until Friday, June 24. You can’t win if you’ve won anything in the last 30 days.

Let’s Talk About Text, Baby

Hey you, sexy, swinging Edmontonians. When the good people at WIND Mobile had a few Blackberries to give away, they knew you guys were the ones to talk to (and we were the ones to offer up the provided phones).

Recently, Textuality opened in select theatres (not in Edmonton to my knowledge). It’s a Canadian movie starring starring Jason Lewis (Smith Jerrod to you Sex and the City fans), Canadian actors Carly Pope (Young People F**king, Popular), Eric McCormack (Will & Grace, Lonesome Dove), and Liam Card (also the film’s writer). The movie looks at dating in the age of smartphones. And texting (obviously).

It looks like this:


Now, just because Edmonton wasn’t on the movie’s release schedule, doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun. (That might just be a double-entendre.) Details on getting you a new phone after the jump. (more…)

Rock ‘n’ Roll Slumber Party

I’m listening to the new Falklands EP “Slumber Party” as I type to you, Edmonton. Totally worth the $3.

It’s a little slower, maybe more mellow, than their album “Think About It.” It’s a good mellow.

Wait, $3?

Wow! Those Falklands know how to have a good time. (They also love backgammon. Ask them about that some time.)

Speaking of good times…Falklands will be throwing one heck of a hall show this Saturday, with Ben Disaster & The Cosmonauts, The Group Sound, and The Dizzies. You get all of that great, Edmonton, rock ‘n’ roll for just $10. Bands start at 7pm for this all ages show at Idylwylde Hall.

How about we give you some free tickets? Yeah, that sounds about right. Let me know in the comments what delicacy I enjoyed with Falklands guitarist Mark Budd and you’re in the draw.

This is the kind of fun you could be having. Tambourine fun:

p.s. To spread the love you can’t have won anything from us in the last 30 days.

One Way State Giveaway

Do you guys remember One Way State? We met them last May; since then, they’ve put out a new record and are about to embark on their second tour – it kicks off this Thursday at Brixx.

“This is our second tour since we’ve been a band,” says lead singer Cody Mack. “After our first tour in November 2010, we were already itching to get back on the road.”

“We seriously can’t wait to hit the road again. We’d love to do this full-time, but day jobs get in the way. Nick is a supervisor in a warehouse, Charley works in television, I’m a server, and Brandon is a mechanic, which comes in handy on the road. All of us would quit everything for a chance to make a living playing music.”

Cody explains that their first tour was paid for by money from past shows and ticket and merchandise sales – and they’re hoping to do the same this time around.

Anyway, despite the fact that, as Cody explains, “Each t-shirt sold is 1/4 tank of gas, so touring bands like ours REALLY appreciate it when you buy their merch,” One Way State is giving away a t-shirt AND a pair of tickets to their tour-opening show this Thursday. To get into a draw for the t-shirt and tickets you just have to leave a comment naming a One Way State song.

“Edmonton has been very kind to us…we know that Edmontonians love live music and love supporting homegrown talent. We’ve been very fortunate to have the family, friends, and fans that we do. They’ve all been very supportive, and we are in deep appreciation if this.”

The Winspear Presents: Martin Sexton

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is not always the easiest to get a ticket to. People freakin’ love that thing. So, thankfully, the Winspear Centre is going to give us all a dose of folk and world music through the spring.

I plan to write a little more on their Winspear Presents Series but things do get started tomorrow night with troubadour (I’m becoming a big fan of that word) Martin Sexton.

Soulful and poignant, Sexton is going to make that great building hum.

You want a couple of free tickets to the show?

It’s time for us to have a daily deal site too!

First up, a month’s subscription to the edmontonian for half-price.

Actually, how about we just give away a $25 credit to Good News Edmonton, an actual daily deal site? Sure. That goes to Michael. I wonder if he’ll use it on spa packages

But really, this is a growth industry. Kudos to Good News for giving some money back to charities in the process, differentiating itself from the pack.

Your favourite place = train ride

You love Edmonton. And you think there are some pretty sweet places to visit in this city. So tell the world (or, at least Canada) about your favourite places and get into a draw for some Via train action.

Great Places in Canada is a contest put on by the Canadian Institute of Planners (which sounds pretty legit), which aims to find all the most-loved cities, towns, landmarks, and public spaces (like parks) in this great country.

Edmonton’s already well-represented with the University of Alberta, Candy Cane Lane, our 1-year-old Art Gallery of Alberta, Ada Boulevard (often used in TV movies), Old Strathcona, the Muttart Conservatory, and Whyte Avenue. Anyone who nominates a place is entered into the draw.

Oh, and there will be judging of the favourite places, so get voting.

I’m also curious as to your favourite places, Edmonton or otherwise. So drop me a comment and tell me what’s cool.

Deals, discounts, crepes

You like deals, you’re only human.

In the jumble of group discount sites that have popped up (most of them with crazy two-syllable names), there’s a new deal in town. Good News Edmonton is a deal with a difference. They give a charity or worthy organization some of the money they earn from coupon-savvy folks.

The site’s first big deal in Edmonton (since they are also in other cities) is a $1 crepe from Whyte Avenue’s location of Crepeworks. That’s a big savings on a crepe that could cost you $7. Plus, the Edmonton Food Bank is reaping all the rewards. (In this case the food bank is getting all of the money.)

Good News Edmonton has done their homework though. They know we love giving you guys stuff. So…hows about a $25 credit for this new deal site? Yeah, we knew you’d be all about that. To get yourself in the draw for the $25* credit, leave a comment with a business you’d like a deal from and a charity you think could use a few extra dollars. (This is just for conversation/contest purposes and doesn’t have to use any of our suggestions.)

*One note, you’ll only be able to use the credit on items that cost more than $10. (A deal that costs $10, for example, or buying two $5 deals.

Update: We’ll draw a winner Thursday morning.

Update 2: Michael has claimed the $25 credit. Thanks for all your great suggestions!

Sister Gray Giveaway

You are in luck, dear Edmonton.

I know you were eyeing up tonight’s Brasstronaut/Sister Gray/Aidan Knight show at The Haven Social Club. Because we know that, we’ll offer you a pair of free tickets. Heck, we’ll throw in a Sister Gray EP too. Because we know what you like.

Vancouver’s Brasstronaut brings their funky-pop groove to Edmonton tonight. They’ve brought along Victoria songwriter Aidan Knight. When they thought about playing Edmonton they probably thought “We should add a local act to our bill.”

Enter Sister Gray.

Millet’s Graling sisters, who now call Edmonton home, lead the pop-rock band. Jenesse and Brittany are both grads of MacEwan’s music program too.

Sister Gray’s debut EP Close the Night was released last year, and it’s the material you’ll hear them touring on right now. Tonight’s a good night to hear them.

Drop your name into the comments if you want two free tickets to the show, and a copy of Close the Night. We’ll draw a winner at 2pm.

If you don’t win our free tickets, you can snag some with money by hitting up YEG Live. The show’s at Haven Social Club at 7:30.

News Specific to One Person: Derjis

meals on wheels contest logoIn an ongoing effort to provide the best coverage possible to the niche-iest (not to be confused with nietzsch-iest) audience, we are proud to present the first installment of a new series: News Specific to One Person.

In this segment, we offer a news item that will of specific interest to one person and one person only, and which may appear cryptic or possibly inconsequential to everyone else. It’s not funny now, but when your turn comes, man alive, it’ll be a humdinger.

Today’s person is Derjis.

Derjis, you may be interested to know that Meals on Wheels Edmonton is currently running a contest, inviting Edmonton teens to submit their original soup recipes for the chance to win $100 and the chance to be their chef for a day. Entries will be accepted until April 30th; details can be found here.

So you think you can $4000

If there’s one thing the new century has taught us, it’s that people love dancing.

Not just actually dancing, but watching people dance. And watching people who think they can dance. That’s not one that I would have called back in the 90s.

But, the dancing train isn’t slowing down, so let’s all hop aboard and boogie. (Kids say “boogie,” right?)

Also jumping aboard is Servus Credit Union’s Young & Free Alberta crew, with a dance contest. If you are between the ages of 17 and 25, like to dance, and want a chance at $4,000, then Servus wants you to submit a video of you dancing. You have until February 7 to enter. You can go solo or get together your crew.

Based on the age-range stated in the rules, I can only infer that the long-rumoured shift to “submitting videos of yourself dancing mortgage applications” has begun. I wonder if CMHC insures those yet.

Get dancing, young Edmonton!

Oh, and get filming/uploading so you can win money. It ain’t dancing unless there’s voting and money at stake.

At Last, An Outlet for our Collective Rage

dedfest logo

Not to make everything about winter, but for the love of God, why won’t this end.

Anyway, you know what’s nice when it’s this horrible outside? Getting your snuggie, your hot cocoa, and all your friends together to make a short, occult-themed film featuring a crucifix and massive eye trauma.  You know, a classic winter activity.

For realsies, though, if you’re an aspiring auteur, this contest looks pretty rad. Details, from the bureau of our pal Derek Clayton over at Dedfest:

We’re holding our first ever short film contest: DEDfest 6:66! We’re looking for sick but talented filmmakers to submit a short based on the themes of demonic possession, the occult, and satan worship! Be as gory and as funny as you want, as long as the film is no longer than 6 minutes and 66 seconds in length!

Here are the details:
ENTRY FEE • A mere $10 per team/film (cash only)
RULES • You must shoot and edit your entire film in the period from Friday, January 14, 2011 to Sunday, January 23, 2011. You MUST include the following prop and gore effect: a crucifix and eye trauma.
DEADLINE • Completed films are to be dropped off at the Lobby DVD Shop on Whyte (10815 Whyte Avenue) on SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 by 6:00 PM
FORMATS • Films must be submitted on a playable, non-looped DVD
SCREENING • Our panel of judges (me and Kevin) will pick our favourite two films and screen them before our presentation of DEMONS on January 27th. We will then let the audience decide, via applause, which film is the best! The winner will receive a prize pack courtesy of DEDfest and our sponsors.

For more info:


* The contest is open to all interested parties over the age of 18.
* You do not have to live in Edmonton to participate but you must have the film submitted by the deadline.
* No equipment will be provided to filmmakers.
* The event will be rated R with no admission for those under 18. The films submitted will be unrated.

DEMONS plus Cheerbleeders! – THURSDAY, JANUARY 27th @ 9PM – Metro Cinema, 9828-101A avenue

The clock be ticking, folks, so get out there and start gauging! And if you submit something, be sure to let us know.  There’s nothing Samsonow likes better than a good cross in the eye.

Uncle Pauly’s Big Finish

That’s all folks! There’s still time to donate to needy Christmas charities, but our extra push is coming to an end.

Thanks to you, generous Edmontonians, some of the fears that those charities would fall very, very short of their holiday goals is being alleviated. We just wanted to remind everyone that your help, whether it’s $10 or a small toy, really does go a long way.

Before we announce the winners, we want to thank the businesses, individuals, and organizations that donated a prize to help us help others make the season a little brighter for those less fortunate.

I assure you the draw was random and I couldn’t see the names I was choosing, until placed beside the prizes. On top of those warm, fuzzy feelings they got for donating to worthy charities at Christmas the following people will be enjoying something extra thanks to Uncle Pauly.

Greg gets to eat at great Edmonton restaurants with his Original Fare gift card (the edmontonian donated that prize). Jill will have a little extra to spend at Chapters, Empire Theatres, iTunes, and HBC stores. John will be sipping his lattes from Unknown Studio mugs, well regarded in the mug world. Sarah will be sipping new and exotic coffees from Transcend, while keeping her hands burn-free with coffee sleeves by Marilyn. Chris will be attending the first ESO concert of the new year. Joseph gets to stay warm in a new toque and scarf from the Viking Weekly Review, a newspaper he’ll become familiar with in 2011. Karen gets golf balls, chocolate, and other goodies I couldn’t identify in a treasure chest. Joanna will be watching the first seasons of The Cleveland Show and Cougar Town again and again. And Deja will be buying electronics at Future Shop.

We’ll be contacting the winners soon.

Thanks to Paul for coming up with the idea. Thanks to everyone that sent us a photo, to everyone who donated because of our contest, and to everyone who donates time, money, and stuff, to charities and non-profits the whole year through.

Your kindness made our heart grow three sizes, Edmonton.

Christmas prizes for you

Hey, again, Edmonton.

It’s time for another reminder to help out those struggling Christmas charities (and any charity doing a Christmas thing) this holiday season. Today it sounds like Meals on Wheels is really having a tough end to 2010.

And to reward your good deeds we shall enter your name into a draw for prizes.

You already know about the $100 Original Fare gift card (good at about 20 restaurants), Unknown Studio mugs and buttons, $25 Chapters/Indigo/Coles card, a $25 iTunes card, a $25 Empire Theatres card, and a $25 Zellers/HBC card, and a scarf and one-year subscription to the Viking Weekly Review (It’s a newspaper in Viking, Alberta, not about vikings. I think.).

But we really, really want you to help those charities you’ve maybe been thinking about helping, but felt like your one gift of $10 or a $10 toy wouldn’t help. It will help.

And to help you help them we’re adding more prizes to the draw.

If you don't send in photos, Jeff and Paul will gorge themselves on truffles and golf balls.

Today we add:

A Rexall gift basket (thanks to Katz Group) worth $80, though Paul says that’s got to be a low-ball estimate for the goodies inside.

2 tickets to the first ESO show of the new year – Saint-Saens’s Second Piano Concerto – (thanks to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra).

Oh man, you better send in some photos of you donating to charities, because otherwise this Christmas is going to be me, sitting in a pile of awesome prizes, drinking egg nog until I pass out.

Just e-mail us, or drop a comment with a link to a Twitpic or Flickr of you doing good.

Keep Giving

When Paul heard about Christmas charities struggling to feed people this December, when he heard kids would go without a toy, he had to do something.

So, Paul said to us, “Hey, let’s give people a chance at prizes for their donations.”

All you have to do for a chance at our Christmas goodies is send us a photo of you donating to a charity this holiday season. We already told you that you could win a $100 Original Fare gift card and Unknown Studio mugs and buttons.

But we really want you to kick up those Christmas donations (remember, nothing crazy, $10 or a $10-ish toy). So, let’s up the ante. (more…)

Uncle Pauly’s Christmas Challenge

By Paul Poulsen

WAY back in the day, I had an after school job where I worked as a mechanic at a local garage. I did basic things like fix tires, and oil changes, but I also performed whatever odd jobs the two owners didn’t feel like doing themselves.

One of the owners had just finished re-shingling his roof. As he pulled off the old shingles, he threw them in the box of his pickup. He brought the truck to work on a Saturday morning and informed me that it would be my job to go to the dump and unload the shingles. I was unimpressed.

The truck was so full, it was bottomed out. There was a metric fuck-tonne of shingles for me to dispose of.

When I arrived at the dump, I tried backing up as fast as the truck would go and then slamming on the brakes, in an attempt to harness the power of momentum, to rid myself of my cargo. I was unsuccessful. After a half-hour of scheming, I finally made peace with the fact that the only way to empty the truck was to start unloading the truck by hand.

While the thought of unloading 1,000+ pounds of shingles was overwhelming, the task became much less daunting when I realized that I didn’t have to do it all at once. I only needed to work steadily and unload a few handfuls at a time. The work went much faster than I anticipated and what started as the shit job from hell actually turned into a formative experience for me.


According to a story in Tuesday’s Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Christmas charities are hurting this year. The Christmas Bureau isn’t even a third of the way to meeting its goal and this means people could go hungry. Santas Anonymous is about halfway to its goal and that means a bunch of unfortunate kids could go without a present. (The Sun’s Adopt-a-Teen, and the Salvation Army are also struggling.)

That’s bullshit. (more…)

Ready for your close-up?

If you’re anything like me, you don’t tend to leave the house without a camera.

But, if you’re anything unlike me you have a fancy camera and are very much into professional tips and ways to take better photos.

Either way, how about some free tickets to the Edmonton Photographic Tradeshow? Yeah, that sounds nice doesn’t it? Now, I can’t just give you these two tickets to the Saturday show without making you jump through a hoop or two.

Lucky for you, my actual hoops are in the shop.

(Also lucky, that McBain Camera is cool enough to give us these tickets to give to you.)

So I’ll just ask you for a hilarious caption to the photo below. This is so arbitrary I’m going to go with the caption that makes me laugh most.



Caption Me!

Sometimes When We (One) Touch

I’m not going to lie to you, it took me about 10 minutes, and a few failed puns, to try and mix Dan Hill and diabetes into the same headline.

The award-winning Canadian singer is in Edmonton this Friday for a benefit concert for the Canadian Diabetes Association. He’s actually an ambassador for the association, since he’s known about his type 2 diabetes for a decade.

Hill will be joined by singer-songwriter Liz Rodrigues at the Shaw Conference Centre show.

We’ve got two tickets with your name on them. (Well, they don’t really have your name on them, but you know what I mean.) So, if you’re interested in attending this fine performance in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association, drop a comment and we’ll draw for the pair of tickets.edmonton, canadian diabetes association, dan hill

If you want to buy some tickets, head to this website.

Nothing’s Taboo

We know you like sex, Edmonton.

Whether it’s in chatting with Little Miss Curious, filming your own porn for Vue Weekly’s Blue Revue, or just general sexiness.

So, we shall reward you with a pair of tickets to this weekend’s Taboo Sex Show, thanks to a friend of the website, Brenda, and the crew at The Traveling Tickle Trunk.

Let’s get topical with this giveaway…drop your best Brett Favre zinger/innuendo into the comments, tweet at us, or Facebook us. We’ll draw for the free tickets.

Taboo runs October 14-17 at Northlands. The Traveling Tickle Trunk has all of your needs covered 365 from their location on Whyte Avenue.

Jazz hat (or More free Edmonton stuff)

Hey gang, remember when we went on and on about our first year and I mentioned how we had neglected our Flickr pool?

Well it’s time to make that right.

We’d like to start filling our pool with pictures. I’ll do my best to upload photos on my end, and if you’ve got photos of Edmonton stuff you’d like to add please do. I’d love to feature your photos of the city, events and people in our daily Headlines.

So…to encourage some photos, how about I offer you a prize?

How about, for the low, low price of a photo you can have a fantastic Edmonton International Jazz Festival hat? Sounds like a deal to me.

Upload a photo of you at the jazz festival or from any of the jazz fest events or shows to our Flickr pool and I’ll throw your name into the hat (literally) for a chance at the hat.

Thanks to Eri for the hat.

What’s your name?

It’s contest time!

We’ve got four E-Ville Roller Derby tickets to this Saturday’s “Declaration of Derby” between our own E-Ville Dead and the Rat City Rollergirls.

It’s Edmonton vs. Seattle, and will be a great way to celebrate the births of both countries.

So, to win these bad boys, how about you give me a good Edmonton-related roller derby name.

Check the roster of the E-Ville Dead for some great examples of the play on words. I’ll get the ball rolling…thinking about the Muttart Conservatory and City Hall I came up with “Pam Pyramids.”

If we get more than two entries I’ll draw for the tickets. And there will be two sets of tickets, we won’t make four of you go by yourself.