Connect with us
[the_ad id="89560"]

Community

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

Published

5 minute read

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 extralars.com 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.

Follow Author

Alberta

A Small, Important Opening

Published on

A Small, Important Opening

Chances are pretty good that all major-league sports and some of the lower-profile ones will manage to complete partial 2020 seasons despite growing signs that COVID-19 will not give up without a long and continuing fight for dominance over sports and all else in today’s world.

Experts and observers of all athletic and public disciplines agree, however, that nothing is certain: baseball players are opting to stay home; basketball players express discontent and confusion every day; the NHL waffles over naming so-called hub cities for a wacky playoff proposal that continues to raise more questions than answers.

In the midst of all this uncertainty comes one simple burst of optimism: the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the public on Thursday, 98 days after the rampaging coronavirus pandemic forced closure of the building on the edge of Red Deer on March 16. It is fair to concede that reopening a small-city building warrants little public interest when compared with the billions involved in professional sports, but it’s also reasonable to accept that every step of progress in this deadly world-wide struggle is worth recording.

Although none of the $302,000 committed to the Hall in the current provincial budget has been received – a $75,000 commitment has been made but no cash has appeared and a review is already promised for later this year – executive director Tracey Kinsella said some pleasant things have been achieved during the lockdown.

“We have been extremely busy giving our Hall of Fame an update,” she smiled. “Our goal is to improve the entire experience for our visitors from the moment they walk in the door.”

Cleanliness was, and is, essential in the reopening. Sanitizers, directional signs and plenty of obvious messaging are part of the opening, of course. There is no plan for an opening ceremony, Kinsells said. “We would like to do something of a celebration, maybe later in July.”

At one time, fingers were crossed that induction of the 14 members selected several months ago but “we had to decide (last week) that there will be no induction banquet in 2020. We’ve had to tell all the inductees that we’re having to wait until next year.”

The list includes four athletes: skier Deirdra Dionne, hockey player Chris Phillips, chuck-wagon racer Kelly Sutherland and snowboard-cross star Michael Robertson. Five builders – Jan Ullmark, figure skating; Terry Morris, curling; Ken Babey, hockey; Derek Douglas, soccer – were selected along with five Hall of Fame Award winners Nancy Southern and Ian Allison (equestrian broadcasters, Bell Memorial Award), John Currie (Western Canada Summer Games 1983, Achievement Award); Stan Wakelyn (1922 Canadian soccer champions 1922, Pioneer Award); Dennis Kadatz (coach of Edmonton Huskies national junior football champions 1962-64).

Those awards show clearly how broad is the effect of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Every winner spent years working and practicing toward the world’s most elusive goal: perfection. There is no suggestion that it was reached, just as there can be no hint that they have inspired thousands to follow them.

Discussing the government’s failure to live up to its contracted financial commitment, Kinsella was not especially critical: “We’re sad, disappointed, maybe a little alarmed.” During a lengthy discussion, she finally confirmed receipt of the government’s letter providing the limited amount and mentioned “I’ve asked for meetings, have not had a direct, face-to-face conversation with anyone in the area of culture.”

My unsolicited opinion: this is unreasonable. As the Hall opens its doors, perhaps a government department should also open up.

Learn more about the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Our sports history has value

Continue Reading

#EdmontonStrong

Local producer brings together some of Edmonton’s best musical artists to take on the challenge of isolation and music

Published on

June 26th, 2020

I’ve long been a fan of RJ Cui.

We met years ago – he doing something amazing in the community – promoting good causes using his talents in music and video, to engage and create good…. literally everywhere – me, running a TV station and being admittedly jealous of his ability to do first rate production work, both music and video.  And he and his equally-talented wife Rowena Manansala owned their own company, Planit Sound, and appeared to really be living their best lives in video production and music recording.

It was apparent that RJ and his team did really good work. Innovative and engaging campaigns like this one that I was fortunate enough to be a part of, were coming out of their shop with some regularity.

But I didn’t become aware of RJ’s musical history until he was chosen as one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2010.  There I learned about his band, Darkson Tribe and that they had toured Asia a few times, played in front of some big audiences at the X Games in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

So, it was with some interest that I listened when RJ told about a project he’d done recently with a group of award-winning Edmonton musicians, singers, and songwriters.  They created the song “Feel This” while being completely isolated. Turn it up and have a listen – and celebrate these amazing local artists.

Josh Classen from “Feel This”

Even if you’re not a local music officianado, you’ll recognize this guy … long a rhymer of words, meteorologist and deliverer of weather and song, Josh Classen makes a substantial contribution to this effort.

“We will rebuild, but how long ‘till we get back in the streets and how many people killed…hands up for the workers on the front lines” Lyrics by Josh Classen AKA joc.

The news release says this:

Covid-19 changed the lives of Edmontonians in a way we will never forget.  In the middle of this global pandemic, 8 local award-winning art ists found strength in isolation and brought inspiration to the community in the only way they knew how: Music.

Across the globe, people have turned to music to bridge the space between social distancing and songs have been the sounds of consolation for communities to keep us from feeling alone. In April, 8 local artists decided that they would collaborate by creating an original song and music video that reflected what they were feeling during this global pandemic in an effort to fill our Edmonton streets with the powerfully uniting sound of music.

The musical score, lyric writing, and recording of each artist’s verse were all produced while each person was completely self isolated.  Each artist utilized their own home recording studios, sending their “scratch vocals” to PlanIt Studios (RJ and Rowena’s studio) for final editing, mixing and mastering.

The music video was shot while social distancing at the PlanIt Studios, one artist at a time.

“I choose to be prepared but I don’t let it rule my mind, little 7 year olds with fear in their eyes.” Lyrics by K-Riz

“I ain’t used to driving around, nobody downtown, in the middle of the street as I’m pulling the camera out” Lyrics by Video Director / Artist R.J. Cui AKA Jing

The song is called “Feel This” by YEG Collective Artists:

Josh Classen AKA joc

Terrell Edwards

K-Riz

Arlo-Maverick

Riwo: lead singer of Melafrique

Oozeela

Deuce Fantastick

Jing (Artist and Video Director from PlanIt Sound Inc.)

“Feel This” by YEG Collective Artists song and music video is available on music streaming platforms everywhere.

#FeelThisYEG

Read more on Todayville Edmonton.

Continue Reading

Trending

X