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Watch: Red Deer Comedian needs your help to secure a “dream gig”

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  • For Niek Theelen 2019 is off to a very exciting start.   The local comedian has been performing stand up in Central Alberta for the last four years.  With your help, Niek might just get a chance to take his act all the way to Halifax for the 2019 Ha!ifax ComedyFest.

    Back in January, Theelen entered CBC TV’s “Next Up Comedy Contest”.  Next Up is a nation wide search for an emerging comedic talent.  Niek’s stand up bit earned him a place on the list of 100 hopefuls from coast to coast who are all now gunning for a place in the Top 10.

    You can go online to see Nick’s routine and vote for him by clicking on the Next Up website.

    Your vote (you can vote once a day) will help Nick join the top 10 comics.  CBC has gathered a panel of industry pros who will select an overall winner from that top ten list.   The overall winner will be revealed March 29 and earns a performance at ComedyFest in Halifax.

     


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    Alberta

    Everything you need to know to enjoy the long weekend in an Alberta park

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  • From the Province of Alberta

    Get ready to long weekend

    It’s time to kick off the summer camping season and for Albertans to get out and explore provincial attractions or simply travel to visit family and friends.

    Camping in Alberta Parks campgrounds is one of many options for Albertans this May long weekend.

    “Whatever it is Albertans choose to do this long weekend, our province has a wealth of unique experiences that support our economy, including camping in our provincial parks. Wherever the destination, government hopes people will have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable May long weekend.”

    Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

    Below are a few tips and information to support a safe and enjoyable long weekend.

    Camping

    • We all share a responsibility to be courteous campers, which ensures campgrounds are enjoyable and safe for everybody.
    • General etiquette rules are:
      • Avoid excessive noise so that everyone can enjoy the peace and tranquility of parks.
      • Quiet hours are between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
    • Still looking for a campsite or a picnic area? Check out AlbertaParks.ca.

    Liquor in provincial parks

    • The previous liquor ban in select provincial parks is lifted; however, rules and regulations around campground quiet hours, excessive noise and appropriate behaviour continue to be in place and will be enforced.
    • Liquor consumption is restricted to registered campsites only.

    Fire bans

    • At this time, a fire ban is in effect throughout most of northern Alberta, prohibiting campfires, unauthorized burning and restricting the use of off-highway vehicles on public lands.
    • Fire bans outside of Alberta provincial parks are posted on AlbertaFireBans.ca Download the Fire Bans app before you head out.
    • Provincial parks-related fire bans, restrictions and associated advisories are posted on AlbertaParks.ca Fire Bans.

    Safety on the road

    • More collisions and fatalities take place on Alberta’s roads on long weekends than other weekends. To help travellers get home safely, traffic enforcement measures will be ramped up this May long weekend.
    • Alberta sheriffs will be working in integrated traffic units with RCMP to patrol provincial highways to target impaired drivers, aggressive and careless drivers, distracted drivers and speeders.
    • Drive for the conditions of the road (check 511 Alberta for latest highway conditions).

    Fish and wildlife

    • Increased enforcement on our highways, waterways, public lands and in our parks will help responsible Albertans enjoy the long weekend safely.
    • In addition to protecting fish and wildlife and managing human/wildlife conflicts, fish and wildlife officers will be protecting the landscape and waterbodies, including monitoring random camping, boating and off-highway vehicle use.
    • Ensure you know the fishing regulations and the hunting regulations.

    Bear safety

    • Albertans can do their part to avoid human-bear conflict. Be bear and cougar smart. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
    • When travelling in bear country, keep dogs on a leash, travel in groups and make noise whenever possible.

    Impaired driving

    • Arrive alive! Any form of impaired driving is unacceptable and dangerous, and puts everyone on Alberta roads at risk.
    • Impaired driving from alcohol, drugs, fatigue or distraction injures or kills thousands of Albertans every year.

    Museum and historic sites

    • Alberta’s historic sites, museums and archives are open for the summer with new programs and experiences.
    • People can purchase an Experience Alberta’s History Annual Pass and get unlimited access to all provincial historic sites and museums for one year from date of purchase.

    Recreation on public land

    • Conditions on the May long weekend are typically very wet due to spring rains, melting snow and frost, making the land more susceptible to significant damage from recreational activities.
    • Be aware of regulations around motorized recreation and non-motorized recreation on trails and in waterways. Wheeled and tracked vehicles are not permitted to be operated or parked on the bed, shore and/or in the water of Alberta’s streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands.
    • Damage or loss to public land (i.e., dumping of garbage, abandoned vehicles, sign removal, gate removal) needs to be reported to the Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.
    • Camping is limited to a 14-day stay on public land.
    • Respect the land and know the rules and regulations around random camping on public lands.

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    National

    The hardest choice of this long weekend: Raptors or ‘Game of Thrones’?

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    TORONTO — As a “Game of Thrones” fanatic who is also a devoted Toronto Raptors fan, Oriana Di Nucci finds herself weighing the pros and cons of what to watch this Sunday when the fantasy saga concludes at the same time her beloved team h…


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  • TORONTO — As a “Game of Thrones” fanatic who is also a devoted Toronto Raptors fan, Oriana Di Nucci finds herself weighing the pros and cons of what to watch this Sunday when the fantasy saga concludes at the same time her beloved team hosts its first home game of the NBA Eastern Conference final.

    Despite the ubiquity of on-demand viewing, watching event programming live on a traditional television is still the preferred mode to experience mammoth meme-able moments, says the pop culture junkie. But she is still kicking herself for switching to “Game of Thrones” last Sunday just before Kawhi Leonard scored an astonishing buzzer-beater in Game 7 of the playoffs’ second round.

    This Sunday will feature a similar double-draw, when the most critical moments of the Raptors’ Game 3 will almost certainly overlap with the first half-hour or so of the “Game of Thrones” 80-minute finale.

    But Game 3 is a much different proposition than a deciding Game 7, says Di Nucci, who will risk missing another Raptor moment to watch “Game of Thrones” live with her family.

    “I’m really bad at accidentally spoiling things a lot. It’s not good for me and my friends who hadn’t watched it yet,” she explains, expecting both social media and traditional media to be awash with GoT details Sunday night and Monday morning.

    Despite pronouncements that event television is dead, Di Nucci believes the fear-of-missing-out drives many to the tube, often with friends and family in tow.

    And anyway, the advent of time-shifting and on-demand viewing has addressed remote control battles that would have split family viewing just a few years ago, adds sports fan Keith Morris.

    “I’m in my thirties and I remember back then Dad would have been downstairs watching the game and somebody else that was into the show would have been upstairs,” he says, noting screens are also more likely to run simultaneously in the same room.

    “But now with technology you can kind of do it all.”

    This Sunday, Morris will be at his friend’s condo with about 10 others for what’s primarily considered a GoT finale party. But the game will be on, and he expects most guests to trickle in during the second quarter.

    It’ll be especially hard to avoid Raptors fever when they return home Sunday, even with a “Game of Thrones” finale, he predicts.

    “The city is definitely on fire. We have a chance this year,” says the Missouri-born Morris, also devoted to watching the St. Louis Blues chase the NHL’s Stanley Cup.

    Raptors fan Heba Habib of Pickering, Ont., says the choice isn’t hard for her, since Crave makes “Game of Thrones” available as soon as it airs on HBO at 9 p.m. ET. Generally speaking, she ignores linear broadcast.

    “I’ve never really watched television live. I normally watch on-demand, or I watch whenever I have the time. It’s only live games that I normally watch (live),” says Habib, who’ll join a dozen friends to watch Sunday’s game, followed by “Game of Thrones.”

    She says her parents will stay home to focus on the game. 

    Indeed, the proliferation of mass media has actually made the notion of mass consumption less and less the reality, says York University film professor John McCullough.

    “That’s the contradictory thing,” he chuckles. “It seems we have more mass media at our disposal nowadays but in fact the way that mass media (and) content is produced is actually (encouraging) fragmented audiences.”

    That was certainly the case last week for Di Nucci, who watched the Raptors with her sister and parents on the living room TV until she and her father commandeered the set for “Game of Thrones.”

    Her mom and sister were relegated to an upstairs bedroom to finish the game between the Raptors and visiting Philadelphia 76ers. Di Nucci soon realized that was a mistake “based on their yelling and running around.”

    “The timing was not great, right? sighs the 21-year-old.

    “I wish I saw Kawhi’s last shot live. I wish I saw it in the moment, but it happens. It happens. I’ll be there for the next one. I’ll be there for the next big win.”

    Bell Media says “Game of Thrones” has been averaging 2.5 million viewers each week in its Sunday 9 p.m. ET time slot, with no indication that fans delayed viewing habits for the Raptors.

    Sportsnet says last Sunday’s Game 7 attracted an average audience of 2.2 million viewers, a big jump over a typical game. A peak audience of 3.8 million tuned in to catch Leonard’s buzzer-beater.

    If Di Nucci had another screen available at the time, she expects she would have caught Leonard’s shot but she was using her phone to text a friend during “Game of Thrones,” which was being streamed to the television via her laptop.

    There’s no escaping spoilers when a popular entertainment juggernaut captivates social media, says Meg Wheeler of Toronto. For that reason, “Game of Thrones” trumps all viewing, and did so last Sunday when she convinced her partner to switch from Game 7 to watch the series live.

    “We are both so active on Twitter that we know it’ll get spoiled if we don’t watch it live,” says the 28-year-old, admitting to some regret for missing Leonard’s shot.

    “I don’t feel it was that big of a deal — I’ve seen it now so many times replayed — but there is something special about seeing it happen live. It’s one of those things where you would remember where you were when it happened.”

    Habib, meanwhile, has worked out key house rules for watching a delayed “Game of Thrones”: “Nobody can go on social media.”

    “We’re good. As long as it’s not a blowout, we will always watch Raptors first,” she says.

    Being respectful is key, adds Morris, citing past experience in asserting the difficulty of reading online leaks without spoiling the fun for others.

    “If they’re searching through Twitter or people are live tweeting and they’re reading it and they’re getting spoiled, you can kind of read on their face what’s going on,” he says.

    “That’s when we decided to say: ‘Everyone put your phones on the table and turn them over and for 20 minutes let’s just watch the rest of this game and be present in this Toronto moment.'”

    Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press


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