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Alberta

Masterful storyteller spins yarns on The Bothy

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2 minute read

A good story well-told is a beautiful gift. May we suggest treating yourself to The Bothy Storytelling Podcast?

Host Calum Lykan makes his living as a storyteller, and you may even have seen him in real life at a festival, library or school near you, sometimes in his kilt, always in his delightful Scottish brogue.

On his podcast, he shares a mix of captivating tales from the Gaelic and Viking traditions, as well as his own experiences as an immigrant to Canada and an entrepreneur in a creative field. You’ll be entertained, inspired and informed.

Let’s learn a little more about the voice of The Bothy:

 

Q. What will people get out of listening to your podcast?

A. A good story and fun. I’m Scottish and charming.

 

Q. What podcasts do you listen to?

A. Anything storytelling-related, such as The Moth and podcasts from guys like Bill Burr. I love the spoken word.

 

Q. If you could have any guest on your show, who would you ask?

A. Billy Connolly. No explanation required.

 

Q. Why do you think people enjoy podcasts?


A. They’re easy to access, there’s a good variety, and they offer a change from music.

 

Q. Write your own epitaph — what would it say?

A. Finally he has shut up.


Q. What has been your favourite episode so far?

A. Viking Storm. It was fun to record.

Be sure to connect with Calum and his podcast on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Over the next several weeks, Todayville will introduce you to members of the Alberta Podcast Network, so you can invite even more Alberta-made podcasts into your ears! You can find The Bothy Storytelling Podcast and dozens of other shows at albertapodcastnetwork.com.

About Alberta Podcast Network

The Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB, is on a mission to:

  • Help Alberta-based podcasters create podcasts of high quality and reach larger audiences;
  • Foster connections among Alberta-based podcasters;
  • Provide a powerful marketing opportunity for local businesses and organizations.

Alberta Podcast Network Ltd. is pursuing this mission with funding from ATB Financial and support from other sponsors.

Todayville is a digital media and technology company. We profile unique stories and events in our community. Register and promote your community event for free.

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Alberta

Former world champion Kevin Koe earns third straight win at Tim Hortons Brier event

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CALGARY —
Kevin Koe remains unbeaten at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Koe’s Wild Card 2 rink defeated Eddie MacKenzie of Prince Edward Island 12-5 on Sunday to improve to 3-0 at the Canadian men’s curling championship.

MacKenzie’s squad dropped to 0-2.

Koe, a four-tine Canadian champion and twice a world gold medallist from Calgary,  took control of the match early, scoring three in the second for a 4-0 lead.

Koe’s rink added four more in the fourth end to go up 8-1 before adding three in the sixth for an 11-3 advantage.

Koe rounded out the scoring with one in the eighth, after which the two teams shook hands.

Koe’s takes on Team Canada’s Brad Gushue (2-0) in the evening draw.

In other early action, Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone (2-1) downed Newfoundland & Labrador’s Greg Smith (0-3) 6-3; Quebec’s Michael Fournier (2-1) defeated Nunavut’s Peter Mackey (0-2) 15-1; and Ontario’s John Epping (2-1) got past Nova Scotia’s Scott McDonald (1-2) 12-7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

‘It kind of clicks:’ Text4Hope program helps with depression, anxiety during pandemic

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EDMONTON — Kiara Robillard says she was in a really bad place.

During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, after she was struck by a truck and her spine broke in two places, she moved home to Alberta from California.

“That put a real damper on my life for quite awhile,” says the 25-year-old, who’s unemployed and living in Edmonton.

“I was depressed, anxious, losing touch with reality, and I was desperate for help.”

A few months ago, she says her doctor recommended she subscribe to an Alberta Health Service text-messaging program designed to provide mental-health support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s called Text4Hope.

Participants receive one text message every morning for three months. After that, they can subscribe for a further six months.

Robillard selects a message of hope on her cellphone. “This one’s my favourite: ‘We often think that motivation leads to behaviour. The opposite is also true. Engaging in activities can increase your motivation.’

“I struggle with motivation so just seeing it written out in plain English … it kind of clicks.”

Vincent Agyapong, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, founded the program.

“Text4Hope is a program that allows individuals to subscribe to receive daily supportive text messages to help people deal with stress, anxiety and depression during the COVID pandemic,” he says.

“When people are feeling stressed, anxious and depressed, they become preoccupied with doom and gloom.

“Once you are in this mental state you receive this positive message of hope, which momentarily disrupts your negative pattern of thinking.”

Agyapong says the messages are crafted by psychologists, therapists and psychiatrists.

Another example of a message sent to subscribers: “When bad things happen that we can’t control, we often focus on the things we can’t change. Focus on what you can control; what can you do to help yourself (or someone else) today?”

The idea for Text4Hope came from a similar texting service Agyapong created after a wildfire tore through Fort McMurray, Alta., in 2016. Text4Mood, which was also promoted by Alberta Health Services, sent similar messages of hope to that community’s residents.

Over six weeks with Text4Hope, Agyapong says users reported a 10 per cent reduction in depressive thoughts in comparison to those who didn’t get messages.

“When people switch from being preoccupied with the doom and gloom to thinking more of the positive contents of the messages, which changes their thinking pattern, (it) results in reduced stress, anxiety and depression,” he says.

More than 52,000 people have subscribed to the program since it started nearly a year ago. It is planning to continue for at least two years.

Agyapong says he has also set up a program that will send similar text messages in Arabic for newcomers, starting in April.

Last month, he started a text service for first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and he launched one in British Columbia for residents in Indigenous communities who have had multiple traumas. “They had wildfires, then they have flooding and now they have the pandemic,” says Agyapong.

Robillard says she is getting therapy and on medication, but Text4Hope comes in handy on days when she feels down.

“It’s something that’s like a good addition to whatever regimen you have for taking care of your mental health,” she says.

“It’s there to help me … having a different voice, a different stream of consciousness around me helps.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

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