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Canadian Finals Rodeo ‘Cabaret Corral’ Live Music Line-Up Announcement


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The 49th Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR 49), set to run November 1-5, 2023, is right around the corner, and we are excited to announce this year’s ‘Cabaret Corral’ country music entertainment

With doors opening at 4:00 pm Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and 10:30 am Saturday, the nightly free event features live music immediately following each rodeo performance in the Prairie Pavilion, showcasing some incredible Canadian talent, including:

Wednesday, November 1st – Brandon Lorenzo

Brandon Lorenzo is a homegrown country artist with a modern twist. Lorenzo was honoured with the titles of Male Vocalist of the Year and Male Entertainer of the Year at the North American
Country Music Awards International (NACMAI) in Nashville in 2023. Additionally, he has received nominations for two categories at the upcoming Jose Awards in Nashville in October. Brandon is an Eight-time Country Music Alberta Nominee, the 2020 Global Country Canada Winner and the 2020 YYC People’s Choice Award Winner.

Lorenzo released his latest single, “One of a Kind”, to country radio in August, showcasing his evolving musical style. Lorenzo has an ever-growing presence in the Canadian Country Music Industry and has gained international recognition, opening for names such as Randy Houser and Brett Kissel, to name a few. He is a rising star, leaving an indelible mark on the country music scene.

Thursday, November 2nd – Shantaia

2023 SCMA Female Artist of the Year Shantaia is a Nashville based singer/songwriter who was born and raised in the tiny town of Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. Showcasing powerful and unique vocals, Shantaia’s voice, much like her name, is unforgettable.

Shantaia recently toured with The Washboard Union, and has also opened for names such as, Kane Brown, Chris Lane, Ryan Hurd, Emerson Drive, Charlie Major and more.

Shantaia has played festivals all over Canada, including Cavendish Beach Music Festival, North by North East, Dauphin’s Country Fest, Country Thunder Saskatchewan, and because of SaskMusic
and Breakout West, Shantaia played an official Americana Fest Showcase in 2019 in Nashville.


Friday, November 3rd – Quinton Blair

Honest as a day spent on a tractor and driven like the drifting Prairie snow. A 7-time Manitoba Country Music Association award winner, Quinton Blair is a road-running, tale-spinning singer/songwriter. Playing his brand of 90s-infused country from the Shield to the Rockies.

Sharing the stage with countless Canadian and American country acts, Blair has performed his brand of a troubadour, storytelling country that carries heavy undertones both of 70’s outlaw
country and 90’s dancehall country flavour with fans all over North America.


Saturday, November 4th – Drew Gregory – Back by POPULAR Demand!

There is an undeniable authenticity and truthfulness to Drew Gregory’s music. The songs of this award-winning Alberta country music sensation are infused with a down-home realism, a gritty
honesty, and a vibrant sense of rootedness that comes from years spent working the land as a farmer – an aspect of his life that is deeply connected to his talent as a musician, singer, and
songwriter. Over his burgeoning career, to name a few, he has shared the stage and opened the concert and festival dates for Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore, Old Dominion, John Michael
Montgomery, Big & Rich, Emerson Drive, and Chad Brownlee.

These incredible artists will once again be backed by the “CFR All-Star Band,” a collection of Canadian musicians that boast dozens of Canadian Country Music Awards and CCMA Hall-of Fame Honours among them, playing with Canadian icons such as Dallas Smith, High Valley, Gord Bamford, James Barker Band, and many, many more.

The CFR Night Shift continues with the nightly Buckles Presentation at approximately 9:30 pm, and the music rolls on late into the night with DJ B-Town returning to keep the good times
going until the nightly 1:00 am last call.

Additional entertainment announcements will follow in the days ahead. All Cabaret Corral entertainment is free for everyone of all ages to attend and is the place to be for both pre and post rodeo performances at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Find details, including performance times, at

About the CPRA: With headquarters in Airdrie, Alberta, the CPRA is the official sanctioning body for Professional Rodeo in Canada. The CPRA approves 55 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.7 million. The organization oversees the Pro Tour Finals each fall, holds their premiere event – the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) – at Westerner Park in Red Deer, AB and endorses the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals in late Nov, as part of Canadian Western Agribition.

About Westerner Park: Westerner Park is Central Alberta’s largest tradeshow, agriculture, sports, entertainment, and convention facility. A not-for-profit organization and agricultural society, Westerner Park generates $150 million annually in economic activity hosting over 1,500 events with 1.5 million visitors each year.

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Elon Musk funds conservative actress Gina Carano’s wrongful termination lawsuit against Disney

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From LifeSiteNews

By Doug Mainwaring

‘As a sign of X Corp’s commitment to free speech, we’re proud to provide financial support for Gina Carano’s lawsuit,’ said X’s head of business operations.

Actress Gina Carano is suing Disney-owned Lucasfilm for wrongful termination from Star WarsThe Mandalorian, and Elon Musk is paying her legal bills  

Carano was fired in 2021 after she posted to social media, including X (formerly Twitter), conservative opinions on hot-button issues such as gender pronouns usage, Black Lives Matter, election fraud, the COVID-19 lockdowns, and mask mandates.  

Disney “bullied Ms. Carano, trying to force her to conform to their views about cultural and political issues, and when that bullying failed, they fired her,” explained Gene Schaerr, Carano’s attorney, in a statement.  

The suit explains that at one point, Disney/Lucasfilm demanded that Carano “participate in a Zoom call with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and 45 employees who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, going so far as to say that her willingness to endure such harassment and humiliation was a ‘litmus test’ for her.”  

Following her termination by the entertainment giant, Carano’s agent, United Artists, and her entertainment attorney, dropped her as a client. 

Elon Musk is making good on his promise 

Elon Musk has followed through on the promise he made last fall to fund the legal bills of people treated unfairly by employers over their posts on X/Twitter.      

“As a sign of X Corp’s commitment to free speech, we’re proud to provide financial support for Gina Carano’s lawsuit, empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination,” said Joe Benarroch, X’s head of business operations.  

Carano announced her lawsuit on X on Tuesday: 

After my 20 years of building a career from scratch, and during the regime of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Lucasfilm made this statement on Twitter, terminating me from The Mandalorian: “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm & there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural & religious identities are abhorrent & unacceptable.”    

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” explained the MMA fighter turned actress. “The truth is I was being hunted down from everything I posted to every post I liked because I was not in line with the acceptable narrative of the time. My words were consistently twisted to demonize & dehumanize me as an alt right wing extremist. It was a bullying smear campaign aimed at silencing, destroying & making an example out of me.”      

“Artists do not sign away our rights as American citizens when we enter into employment,” she added.  

The 59-page civil suit, which was filed in California federal court, begins with a clever, iconic Star Wars-style introduction:  

A short time ago in a galaxy not so far away, Defendants made it clear that only one orthodoxy in thought, speech, or action was acceptable in their empire, and that those who dared to question or failed to fully comply would not be tolerated. And so it was with Carano. After two highly acclaimed seasons on The Mandalorian as Rebel ranger Cara Dune, Carano was terminated from her role as swiftly as her character’s peaceful home planet of Alderaan had been destroyed by the Death Star in an earlier Star Wars film. And all this because she dared voice her own opinions, on social media platforms and elsewhere, and stood up to the online bully mob who demanded her compliance with their extreme progressive ideology.

Defendants’ wrath over their employees’ social media posts also differed depending on sex. Even though “the Force is female,” Defendants chose to target a woman while looking the other way when it came to men. While Carano was fired, Defendants took no action against male actors who took equally or more vigorous and controversial positions on social media.

But the rule of law still reigns over the Defendants’ empire. And Carano has returned to demand that they be held accountable for their bullying, discriminatory, and retaliatory actions—actions that inflicted not only substantial emotional harm, but millions of dollars in lost income.

The lawsuit cites many examples of appalling social media posts by other Disney/Lucasfilm personalities that went unaddressed and unpunished:  

In several social media posts, original Star Wars star Mark Hamill made comparisons of Americans who support President Trump with Nazis while also asserting that Trump is the KKK’s candidate. 

Co-star Pedro Pascal, who played the role of the Mandalorian, often expressed positive views on the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ+ rights, and protests for abortion rights. He also compared Trump to Hitler.  During Pride Month, 2020, he posted two Disney-owned Muppet characters, Bert and Ernie, drawn as activists waving a transgender and LGBTQ+ pride flag and promoting “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund the Police.”  

Co-star Pedro Pascal’s June 27, 2020 social media post. Schaerr-Jaffe LLP court filing on behalf of Gina Carano

Disney even rehired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn in 2019 after terminating him in 2018 for horrific social media posts years earlier such as “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place,” and “The Expendables was so manly I ****d the ***t out of the little pussy boy next to me! The boys ARE back in town!”  

Yet Disney failed to offer to reinstate Carano, and turned a blind eye to Hamill’s and Pascal’s offensive posts.  

“I would love to pick up where I left off & continue my journey of creating & participating in story-telling, which is my utmost passion & everything I worked so hard for,” said Carano on Tuesday.  “It has been difficult to move forward with the lies & labels stuck on me, backed & encouraged by the most powerful entertainment company in the world.”  

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Hunting Hills High School presents Ranked The Musical

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Students at Hunting Hills High School are excited to bring a relatable musical to local audiences next month.

Ranked, The Musical runs March 13-16 at the Memorial Centre in Red Deer. The show is rated PG.

“We looked at a number of different shows and we knew we wanted to do something contemporary,” said Piper Rempel, Director. “The show is extremely relatable in that it talks about struggles that teens go through with their parents, school, expectations with friends, anxiety, learning how to balance life and fitting in.”

Because the show is not as well known as past productions, Piper said students had to dive in head first, and as rehearsals have evolved, they have lived up to that challenge.

“We have really talented kids. Our poster design, our technical design – it’s all things the kids have to come up with,” she said. “Our pit band is playing parts that have never been played before. It’s all really incredible to see.”

About 70 students between the cast, tech and pit band have been rehearsing since last fall.

“When we introduced the production to them, they were surprised because it wasn’t a big name,” said Taryn Martinek, Choreographer. “We told them there were lots of reasons that we picked the production, and as soon as we started rehearsing they got it and they have never looked back.”

Both Piper and Taryn encourage the community to come out and support the students as they bring this new story to Red Deer.

“People can expect for songs to get stuck in their heads – it’s great music you have never heard before,” said Piper.

Taryn added the production was a risk, but it has been extremely rewarding to see it unfold. “We want to get the community out and take the risk with us,” she said.

For tickets or for more information, click here.

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