A curious mind can lead you in all sorts of unexpected directions, as Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has discovered with his podcast, Let’s Find Out.
He created the show in 2016 as part of his work as Edmonton’s historian laureate. He invites questions about local history and finds out the answers together with his curious correspondents.
“I’m not an expert about all things ‘local history,’ but I am curious and not afraid to ask questions,” he says. “With Let’s Find Out, I’m trying to turn that into a public good in giving people the tools to get to know their city better.”
When his term as historian laureate ended in 2018, he kept the show going, and it continues to earn accolades. The show received a silver medal at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards earlier this year, and it has been nominated for a Canadian Podcast Award in the Documentary category.
He also does live shows from time to time. The next one — Let’s Find Out: How Nature Shapes Us — will take place in Edmonton on Feb. 9, and will form the basis of the next season of the podcast.
Let’s find out a little more about the host of Let’s Find Out:
What will people get out of listening to your podcast?
A. We feature stories and characters you’ve probably never heard before. Whether you’re in the mood for a surprising look at the history of green onion cakes or a deep dive into Alberta’s past eugenics programs, we’ve got a big range of stories.
Listeners tell me all the time that because of our podcast, they now know how to offer protocol to elders, or which libraries and archives might be able to help them out down the road. And in the long run, my mission is to give people a stronger sense of ownership and belonging in this city.
What podcasts do you listen to?
A. I love listening to shows like Radiolab and HowSound because they teach me so much about the craft of good audio storytelling. I also love Terra Informa, an environmental news show based here in Edmonton, because they cover stories nobody else does. I used to help make the show, and I adore the team producing it now.
What is the most interesting comment you’ve received from a listener?
A group of archaeologists told me once that they listened to our episode A Lesson in Protocol in the car on the way to meet an Indigenous elder. The episode is about an illustrator from a settler background who makes a lot of history resources, who wanted to learn more about which food plants have been important to Indigenous peoples in this area. It was a really challenging episode to create and I ended up making one big mistake in real life: I offered tobacco at the end of our conversation with an elder, instead of at the beginning. I included my mistake in the episode, hoping it would be helpful to listeners. These archaeologists said that actually made it memorable, so they were able to pull it off correctly in their own meeting with an elder after listening! That was gratifying.
Do you have any unusual hobbies or talents that would surprise your listeners?
A. I row! And I’m also an illustrator. I’ve recently started sharing comics with the world.
If you could have any guest on your podcast, who would you choose?
A. Someone who lived in this region a few thousand years ago, because people have lived here for so long and I’m just starting to understand how humans and this land have shaped each other over the millennia. Who did they love, what stories did they tell, what were they afraid of, what were their hopes and dreams?
What has been your favourite episode so far?
A. About Green Onion Cakes, because it was such a good excuse to talk about a snack we all love and the messy and complicated history of Chinese immigration and food culture in Canada. Also because it got so many people talking about this humble food and the chef who popularized it here, Siu To.
Todayville introduces you to members of the Alberta Podcast Network each week. Click here to learn about more Alberta podcasts.
- Help Alberta-based podcasters create podcasts of high quality and reach larger audiences;
- Foster connections among Alberta-based podcasters;
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Alberta Podcast Network Ltd. is pursuing this mission with funding from ATB Financial and support from other sponsors.
Voting deadline looms in race to replace Jason Kenney as Alberta UCP leader, premier
EDMONTON – It’s deadline day to buy $10 Alberta United Conservative Party memberships to vote for the next leader and premier.
The party is accepting drop offs by 5 p.m. and online memberships until midnight.
The party will then go through the memberships and confirm information and expects to have the final tally ready in two weeks or so.
Seven candidates are on the ballot seeking to replace Premier Jason Kenney in the party’s top job.
Kenney announced in May he was quitting after receiving a lukewarm 51 per cent support in a party leadership review.
The next key date in the race is the second debate, slated for Aug. 30 in Edmonton.
The candidates have been proposing a range of policy ideas from health care to education reform, but the focus of debate has been on how to leverage Alberta’s relationship with the federal government to get a better deal in areas such as equalization.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2022.
McTavish puts up six points, Canada crushes Slovakia 11-1 at world juniors
EDMONTON — Mason McTavish didn’t have to pull on the Maple Leaf and play in an unusual summer world junior hockey championship.
The 19-year-old forward will head back to the Anaheim Ducks next month, the NHL team where he put up a goal and two assists in nine appearances last season. Skipping an August tournament to focus on preparing for training camp likely wouldn’t raise eyebrows.
But McTavish has been clear — he loves playing hockey and he loves representing Canada
The dedication paid off Thursday as the captain put up four goals and two assists, powering his team to an 11-1 victory over Slovakia.
“I don’t think anyone’s surprised by his hockey and what he brings to the ice. But what really impresses me is his attitude,” said Canada’s head coach Dave Cameron.
“He has no ego. He probably had every reason not to come to this tournament, just because of the timing of it. And he’s fully engaged in it. And his performance tonight was outstanding.”
McTavish made his way into the history books Thursday, tying a Canadian record for most goals in a world juniors game.
Other players who have accomplished the feat include Mario Lemieux (1984), Brayden Schenn (2011) and Maxime Comtois (2019).
“It’s pretty cool for sure. A special moment,” McTavish said. “Obviously, credit to my teammates. They were looking for me all game, it felt like.”
McTavish plays a special game, said teammate Brennan Othmann.
“He’s fun to play with,” he said. “He’s an elite goal scorer, as you could see tonight. No matter what team he faces, he always finds the back of the net somehow.”
Nine Canadians had multi-point performances in the win, including McTavish, Joshua Roy (one goal, three assists), Othmann (one goal, two assists), Olen Zellwegger (one goal, one assist), Connor Bedard (one goal, one assist), Logan Stankoven (one goal, one assist), Will Cuylle (one goal, one assist), Lukas Cormier (two assists) and William Dufour (two assists).
Zack Ostapchuk also scored for Canada (2-0-0), who were coming off a tournament-opening 5-2 win over Latvia on Wednesday.
“We’re deep from our first line to our fourth line,” Othmann said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in or who’s out, everyone’s contributing in some way.”
Matej Kaslik put away the lone goal for Slovakia (0-0-2) midway through the second period.
Making his first start of the tournament, Canada’s Dylan Garand registered 22 saves.
Tomas Bolo stopped 33 of 44 shots for Slovakia, who dropped a 5-4 decision to Czechia (1-0-1) on Tuesday.
There were just 21 seconds left on the game clock when Ostapchuk buried a shot. He picked up a loose puck at the side of the net and slid it around the front, in past Bolo to seal the score at 11-1.
Roy bumped Canada’s lead to 10-1 at the 15:07 mark. Dufour’s shot hit Bolo’s pad and Roy picked up the rebound at the top of the crease, firing it in over the netminder as he fell to the ice.
McTavish barely celebrated after finding space between Bolo and the post for his fourth goal of the night 3:44 into the third.
“I’m not the biggest celebrator, unless it’s a game-seven OT winner or something like that,” he said. “I don’t really tend to get too excited.”
McTavish completed his hat trick with 35 seconds left in the middle frame.
Bedard took a hit in the neutral zone and sent a puck up the ice to give his teammates a two-man breakaway. Roy put a crisp pass on McTavish’s tape and he fired a shot past Bolo to give the Canadians an 8-1 lead.
About a dozen hats floated to the ice.
It was McTavish’s backhanded flick from the top of the crease 15:16 into the second that gave Canada a 7-1 cushion.
Just 36 seconds earlier, Slovakia finally beat Garand after a battle down low.
Kaslik got the puck and unleashed a shot that hit the goalie’s pad and the crossbar on its way into the net.
A three-man breakaway set up McTavish’s first goal of the night 6:25 into the second. Donovan Sebrango sent him a lead pass and, handling the puck, Team Canada’s captain skated in, sending a rocket soaring past Bolo stick side to boost the lead to 6-0.
The second period was just over a minute old when Stankoven put away Canada’s fifth goal of the night on a five-on-three.
Kent Johnson sent a shot into Bolo’s pad and Stankoven, stationed at the side of the net, popped a shot in before the goalie could get back into position.
Canada was 1 for 4 on the power play and Slovakia went 0 for 3.
After a slow start in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over Latvia, Canada was a force in the first period Thursday.
The host nation took a 4-0 advantage into the first intermission after Zellweger scored with 43 seconds left in the opening frame.
The defenceman got a shot off from the hash marks and the puck appeared to tick off another player in front of the net before pinging in off the post.
Slovakia challenged the play for being offside but a video review determined Zellweger’s goal was good.
A scuttled Slovakian clearing attempt set up Canada’s third strike of the night.
Bolo tried to send the puck out from deep in his own end but Cuylle picked it up at the blue line and sent it to Othmann in the faceoff circle The New York Rangers prospect sailed a shot in past the goalie 15:57 into the game.
Cuylle gave Canada a 2-0 lead less than three minutes earlier.
Ridly Greig stepped out of the penalty box and chipped a pass up the boards to Cuylle, who skated in alone on a breakaway and put a quick blast through Bolo’s pads.
Slovakia had a breakaway of its own earlier in the first, but Garand read the play perfectly and the shot thudded off of his pads to keep Canada up 1-0.
For the second game in a row, Bedard opened the scoring for the Canadians.
The 17-year-old Regina Pats centre dished the puck to McTavish, who sliced it back across the slot. Bedard capped the give-and-go by ripping a blistering shot past Bolo from the bottom of the faceoff circle 6:16 into the first period.
The early game Thursday saw Finland (2-0-0) battle Czechia (1-0-1) to a 4-3 shootout win.
“During the game, we got better and better. And that’s the most important thing,” said Finland’s head coach Antti Pennanen.
Czechia and Canada will both be off Friday before going head-to-head on Saturday.
The Czechs know they’ll need to elevate their game for the matchup, said forward Jiri Kulich.
“We just want to keep our game,” he said. “It’s a big challenge, of course, and a big game. So we’re just going to do our best.”
In the final game of the day, the reigning champion Americans (2-0-0) took a convincing 7-1 win over Switzerland (0-2-0).
Friday will see Austria (0-1-0) face Sweden (1-0-0) and Slovakia take on Latvia (0-2-0).
NOTES: McTavish leads the tournament in scoring with eight points (four goals, four assists). … The preliminary round continues through Monday, with the quarterfinals set for Wednesday. The semifinals are scheduled for Aug. 19 and the medal games will be played on Aug. 20. … The 2022 tournament is being held in August after the original iteration was called off on Dec. 29 after just four days as rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials forced games to be forfeited.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2022.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
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