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Get your arts fix with ‘I Don’t Get It’

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What do you do when something you value isn’t getting much media coverage? For the team behind I Don’t Get It, you make a podcast to fill the gap.

Fawnda Mithrush and Paul Blinov met at Vue Weekly, an alt-weekly arts publication in Edmonton. Dance was getting short shrift in the local media, so in 2013 they started a podcast in which Mithrush, a dance critic, would introduce Blinov, a dance newbie, to the art. With production help from Andrew Paul, I Don’t Get It was born.

In 2017, the podcast expanded to cover theatre and news on the arts community in general. They mostly cover Edmonton, but will take the occasional road trip, such as their excursion to the Badlands Amphitheatre to catch a production of Carmen, or their trip to the Banff Centre to see Orphée+.

Let’s learn a little more about the team behind I Don’t Get It:

 

Q. Why should people listen to your show?

A. Listeners will learn about what’s happening on Edmonton stages, and also get a taste of theatre and dance history. Through light and fun conversation, we hope to lift the “I don’t get it” veil from contemporary performance for both new and experienced audiences.  

Q. What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received from a listener?

A. We often receive comments from the arts community that say, “Thanks for saying that, I thought the same thing,” when we point out problematic aspects of a performance. One such example was a listener who sent that same message after our review of Shakespeare’s R&J, when we discussed whether or not an all-male production of Romeo & Juliet was tone deaf in the post-#MeToo era.

Q. What podcasts do you listen to?

A. We’re media people, so mostly media and storytelling podcasts: On the Media, Longform, New Yorker Radio Hour, Canadaland, Invisibilia.

Q. Do you have any unusual hobbies or talents that may surprise your listeners?

A. All three of us love to cook. Paul is particularly good at bread-making, Andrew is an apprentice butcher, and Fawnda has memorized all seasons of Julia Child’s The French Chef.

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

A. “Wherever there’s magic and make-believe and an audience, there’s Theatre.” It’s a quote from ‘All About Eve’, in a longer speech about democratizing theatre for all audiences (it’s not only for the elite). It’s one of the greatest films to discuss theatre and the challenges of being an artist within it – and also features one of the best critic characters of all time, Addison DeWitt.

Q. What has been your favourite episode so far and why?

A. Season 1 Episode 1 still stands out as a classic example of what we were trying to do with the show, and also why it was important for the growth of arts media in Edmonton. We reviewed one of the city’s most storied dancers and his company, and were terrified. And we nailed it on the first take (for real). Click the link below to listen.

 

Be sure to connect with I Don’t Get It on Twitter and Facebook.

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 I Don’t Get It 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.

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Alberta

Just in time for Canada Day weekend! Crescent Falls ready to be enjoyed again

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The new staircase structure and viewing platform are among many upgrades that visitors can look forward to at the reopening Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area. (Credit: Alberta Parks).

The popular Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area reopens following a significant capital investment to improve visitor safety and experiences.

Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area is ready to welcome visitors back to enjoy one of the most remarkable, accessible waterfall viewing opportunities in Alberta. The upgrades at Crescent Falls will help improve the park’s visitor experience. Guests can expect expanded parking, improved access roads, trails and day use areas, new and improved viewing areas to take in the falls and upgraded safety measures, including signage and wayfinding.

The Provincial Recreation Area (PRA) is reopening over the July long weekend after being closed since 2023. Visitors will notice increased public safety upgrades through additions such as new parking lots, a new stair structure to access the lower falls, new pedestrian trails, a new vehicle bridge to access the camping area and a viewing platform to enjoy the Crescent Falls.

“We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area in time for the Canada Day long weekend. These additions will help visitors to safely access and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. Parks are for people and Alberta’s government will continue to invest in high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

“Today marks a significant milestone for our community as we reopen the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area following extensive upgrades. Our province is well known for its incredible natural beauty, and these improvements will make our backcountry more accessible and ensure that Albertans and those visiting our great province can continue to explore our stunning landscapes for years to come.”

Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
This project is part of an investment of more than $12 million to upgrade 13 sites along the David Thompson Corridor. The improvements at Crescent Falls will provide improved safety measures and better visitor access to and from popular tourist destinations in the area. Partners from Clearwater County, Rocky Mountain House and other organizations were critical in helping to move the upgrades forward. Clearwater County and its officials worked with Alberta Parks staff to advise on the upgrades needed around the area.

Alberta’s government is committed to reconciliation and acknowledges the significance of the land around Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The completed upgrades reflect an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation opportunities while protecting the land’s natural and cultural values so it can be enjoyed by current and future generations.

“The Alberta Government’s reopening of Crescent Falls is a remarkable achievement for our region. This project not only enhances recreational opportunities, natural beauty and accessibility in our area but also means safer, more enjoyable visits for our citizens and visitors alike.”

Michelle Swanson, councillor, Clearwater County

“The Town of Rocky Mountain House is where adventure begins, and we are thrilled that Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area has reopened to the public in time for the summer adventure season. This is a wonderful day trip destination for visitors and residents alike setting out from Rocky Mountain House. The provincial investment has only improved its accessibility and safety, making it a must-see destination if you are in the area.”

Dale Shippelt, incoming deputy mayor, Rocky Mountain House

“Westward Bound Campgrounds is the proud facility operator of the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area and we are very excited to see our campers and visitors return to its beauty. These upgrades will have a significant impact on enhancing guest satisfaction levels, providing unique and memorable camper and visitor experiences while providing a safe environment to enjoy spectacular scenery.”

Lonnie and Edena Earl, Westward Bound Campgrounds

This work is part of an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation and camping opportunities, building trails and facilities and ensuring Alberta’s provincial parks can be enjoyed by all Albertans.

Quick facts

  • The upgrades at Crescent Falls PRA include the following improvements:
    • Enlarging the existing parking area
    • Developing a new parking area for large RV vehicles
    • Upgrading the access roads down to the lower area
    • Installing a new pedestrian trail to the lower day use area
    • Installing a new vehicle crossing from the day use to the camping site
    • Upgrading and expanding the day use areas
    • Increasing signage
    • Installing additional toilets and bear-proof garbage bins
    • Developing a new stair structure to access the lower falls areas with a viewing platform
  • Enhancing safety features throughout the PRA. The upgrades were part of a significant capital investment of $12.3 million by Alberta’s government to address safety and experience opportunities in 13 key provincial recreation sites along the David Thompson Corridor. Along with Crescent Falls PRA, other sites that were upgraded include:
    • Bighorn Dam Recreation Area
    • The following 11 Public lands and parks sites:
    • Coliseum
    • Allstone
    • Abraham Slabs
    • Hoo Doo Creek
    • Coral Creek
    • Pinto Creek
    • Preachers Point
    • Cavalcade
    • Kinglet/Tuff Puff
    • Wildhorse
    • Owen Creek
  • Crescent Falls PRA is located 22 km west of Nordegg on Highway 11 and 6 km north on a gravel access road. Crescent Falls PRA has a first-come, first-served campground with 12 tent-only sites and 22 RV sites. The day use area includes multiple viewing platforms of the upper and lower falls and picnic tables with views of the river. Access to the lower day use area is available on a 0.8 km trail from the main parking area or, alternatively, from the Bighorn Canyon lookout via a 3 km trail. The lower day use area also has accessible-only parking stalls adjacent to the viewing platforms with an accessible vault toilet and picnic areas.

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Alberta

Taxpayers: Alberta drivers need a gas tax break for summer

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Kris Sims

“Alberta families packing up the minivan to go visit the grandparents in Manitoba will be shocked to see a much lower gas price over there, thanks to that NDP government’s lower fuel taxes”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the Alberta government to give drivers a break on fuel taxes as the summer road trip season kicks off.

“Alberta families packing up the minivan to go visit the grandparents in Manitoba will be shocked to see a much lower gas price over there, thanks to that NDP government’s lower fuel taxes,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “Premier Danielle Smith did the right thing when she suspended the Alberta fuel tax for a year. It saved families so much money and it would be a good thing for her to do that again for the summer.”

In January 2023, the Alberta government fully suspended the provincial fuel tax for a year, saving drivers 13 cents per litre of gasoline and diesel.

On average, that tax suspension saved Alberta drivers about $10 filling up a minivan and about $15 filling up a pickup truck.

On April 1, 2024, the Alberta government hiked the tax back up to 13 cents per litre, on the same day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau increased the federal carbon tax to 17 cents per litre of gasoline and 21 cents per litre of diesel.

Manitoba NDP Premier Wab Kinew fully suspended his province’s 15 cent per litre fuel tax on Jan. 1, 2024. He has now extended it to at least September.

Ontario PC Premier Doug Ford has kept his provincial fuel tax partially suspended, saving five cents per litre for more than two years.

Alberta’s fiscal update is expected to be released by the Alberta government soon, a time that often includes updates on affordability actions by the government, including tax relief.

“Albertans are still waiting for their provincial income tax cut and they are paying the full price at the pump for the provincial fuel tax, so it’s tough for them to feel the Albera Advantage right about now,” said Sims. “The Alberta government needs to make good on its promise of lower taxes and drivers should be given lower fuel taxes at the pumps this summer.”

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