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3 Questions for Edmonton Comic LARS CALLIEOU (Just For Laughs, Comedy Network, CBC)


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Lars Callieou is just what we need in Stand Up Comedy right now!

Edmonton Comic Lars Callieou is no stranger to the stage. That is until this whole COVID-19 thing hit. What’s a touring pro comic to do? Re-Invent ‘Stand Up’ thats what. Over the past little while Lars has been busy building up the Firepit Comedy Tour. Crazily this type of set up goes against everything it takes to have a successful comedy show, the audience is way too far away and there’s a very small number of people allowed at the show. Heres the thing, Lars and his team have crushed all of that stigma. Not only did they crush it they rebuilt the entire idea of a stand up show and put it to work. Most importantly Lars and co. have people laughing again. “I needed this” said Lars explaining that this was born out of the “necessity” to be on stage. I can relate. 

“Get the funny Canadian kid again.”                                 – Joan Rivers

What a weird time to be a performer. There’s something about Stand Up Comedy though thats really different. It’s you and the crowd. No barriers. It’s essential to the process. I’ve produced a lot of comedy shows and I would have never ever thought of an idea like this. CTV even picked up the story and presto! Firepit Comedy Tour is booking up like crazy!!! Let me be clear, this is nothing short of incredible.

Want a Firepit Comedy show? Get in touch with Lars by checking out his website or hit up the Firepit Comedy Tour FB page.

Now down to the skinny, I had a quick chance to catch up with Lars online and thought I’d hit him with 3 questions just for fun.

1. What has been your go to food and or meal through this whole world wide lockdown?

I usually work at my computer in my office until I’m starving and then heat up a microwave meal. I get so busy with projects I forget to eat. Most of the time some bowl I got at Safeway, they say ‘healthy choices’ but I think that’s a bit of a marketing gimmick. My eating habits haven’t changed much during the day. At night, I’ll have chicken and some other microwaved veggies.

2. Who is the first band you wanna see live in concert once this is all over?

Great question. I’ve seen pretty much everyone I want to, maybe the Stones again? Page/Plant? Some Zepplin members, I haven’t seen them. And maybe KISS.

3. How would you describe the role music plays on your mental health during the last few months?

I listen to the same 12 songs all the time. I find something I like and play it until I’m sick of it, which takes months. I’ll send you a screenshot (see below) of 2 of my playlists. I usually just listen while I’m driving. I spend a lot of time on the phone with some ‘big idea’ that is going to save the world.

He’s appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Boston Comedy Festival and played Brad Garrett’s comedy club at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Lars has also been overseas to entertain the troops 3 times (Kuwait, IRAQ, Kyrgyzstan, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi) and has a weekly comedy radio show on CJSR 88.5 FM that is a 2-Time Canadian Comedy Award Nominee. He’s toured with Miss Joan Rivers TWICE. The second time she even requested him personally, “Get the funny Canadian kid again.”

Live music at The VAT! Wait, what?

Jesse was born in the city of Lethbridge and raised to his teen years in the southern Alberta farming communities of Raymond and Fin Castle, AB. Jesse's early inspirations include the hypnotic sounds of big-name artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Black Crowes, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, City and Colour, Jack Johnson, Guns 'N' Roses, and Pink Floyd. Jesse is a Blues/Rock/folk/Indie performer who has done his fair share of "paying his dues" opening and touring with such acts as: The Lazys, One Bad Son, Doc Walker, The Odds, The Northern Pikes, The Grapes Of Wrath, Monster Truck, The Age Of Electric, The Wild, Holly McNarland, Econoline Crush, Coal Creek Boys, Wild T & The Spirit, Cara Luft, Carson Cole, Clayton Bellamy (of The Road Hammers), Tupelo Honey, Retrograde, The Smalls, and Mcquaig to name just a few. In 2015 Jesse was awarded the title "Master of Blues Folk Rock" for the 6th Annual Black American Music Awards. Jesse is known for his funky heavy jam style guitar. Big riffs, an impressive vocal sound all his own and the ability to captivate the crowd with ease. His fans have coined the term "no string solo" as he can be consistently found ripping strings off the guitar like they aren't supposed to be there in the first place.

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Penhold Flight Instructor Releases Updated Instruction Manual For the 21st Century

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Sky Wings Aviation founder Dennis Cooper lives to fly.

“2020 marks 50 years of flying for me,” said Cooper in a phone interview.  “I was a cadet and part of the glider program but got my pilots license in 1971 at Cold Lake before I even had my drivers license.”

Cooper later earned his Commercial license under Cecil Sorenson and other seasoned ex-Canadian Air Force pilots who transferred their tremendous knowledge base.  Working with Johnson Air Services and Pultz Aviation, he obtained his instrument rating and began his pilot career in earnest.

“One of the tools I had as a young pilot was the Pultz Instructor Manual and sometimes he (Pultz) would ask me questions and I would offer input,” he remembered.  “The original book was a 3-ring binder and we used that format for a long time at Sky Wings as well.”

Fast forward to the present.

“With current technology, many of our students wanted the manual in an electronic form so now instead of just having a softcover book that gets scuffed, dirty and ripped we now have a hardcover AND an electronic version for use everywhere,” added the instructor.  “Since the original book was written, much had changed.”

Changes to the original include an index which the first book did not have according to Cooper, modified levels of instructors, GPS information which did not exist years ago, procedures and general knowledge brought about by technology.

“We kept the artwork from the original,” said Cooper.  “It’s great and captures what we wanted.  We also added enhanced study and review questions based on feedback from students who have been through testing. The result is now a 558 page Instructors Manual that can follow a pilot from the beginning of their career to their end goal, no matter what that looks like.”

The new updated manual can be used in conjunction with Transport Canada publications.  It can adequately prepare a commercial pilot for the Transport Canada Flight Instructor written examination, the in-flight training and ground instruction, as well as the test flight.

Priced at $99 for the hardcover and $90 for the softcover, the “Cooper Flight Instructor Manual” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo and 3 flight suppliers at present.

“I bought Sky Wings Aviation in 1982 and even today I still feel the same when a new student flies for the first time.  I am excited when our students enter the plane, travel the runway and rise into the air for the first time for their first circuit, then return,” said Cooper whose wife Sherry also teaches at the school.  “I enjoy watching the transfer of knowledge from instructor to student, but most significantly, watching them conquer the air just like the Wright Brothers 118 years ago.”

Cooper is not finished yet with 3 more books ready to rewrite for the 21st century.

For more information on Sky Wings Aviation and the 9th Edition of the Cooper Flight Instructors Manual, go to:

Home – Skywings Aviation


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Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools picks up $30,000.00 tab to buy laptops for at-home schooling

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Photo includes, from left, Foundation Board Member Morris Flewwelling, Trustee and Foundation Board Member Bev Manning and Foundation Board Chair Dave Tilstra.

Foundation donates 90 Chromebooks to students in need

As equity, student success and completion are priorities for Red Deer Public Schools, officials have recognized the move to at-home or temporary online learning has presented challenges for some students and their families who do not have access to technology.

In response to this challenge, the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, recently donated 90 Chromebooks to schools to lend to students needing access to technology, totally $30,000.

Dave Tilstra, Chair of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, said supporting students and ensuring they have the tools to learn is key to helping set kids up for success.

“Chromebooks will continue to be an important resource within schools and now at home. We are thrilled that we have been able to donate this much needed technology to students who would otherwise go without to ensure they have the best opportunities to continue learning,” he said.

Families who borrow a Chromebook from their child’s school are responsible for ensuring they have Wi-Fi connectivity and they will ‘sign out’ the devices and assume responsibility for their proper use and return.

“Equity is about fairness. The Foundation supports projects that help give kids life chances,” said Bruce Buruma, Executive Director for the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. “Families experience challenges during the best of times, but the past number of months have been tough for many. We know this donation will help ease one burden so students can focus on learning and families can focus on other priorities.”

The Foundation supports projects that align with the Division priorities of Literacy and Numeracy, Equity and Student Success and Completion.

For more information, please contact:

  • Bruce Buruma, Executive Director
  • Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools
  • Phone: 403-352-2827
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