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Casa kilns fired for 1000th time

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Aaron Hagan is pleased to see the pottery program take off at Casa.Aaron Hagan shows off some of the works produced  from the 100th firing of Casa's kilns. Photo by Richard Amery
 On Wednesday, he fired up the kilns for the thousandth time since Casa opened in 2013.

“We started with three kilns and now we have six,” Hagan said, adding a variety of students, adults and arts groups, with a core group of 75 active members using the kilns the most,though he estimated over 500 people have used the kilns including school groups, a special needs program and much more.

“ We have a lot of different programs o for pottery and object production. They’re probably among our most popular classes,” he said.
“We fire  the kilns up two or three times a week,” Hagan observed, adding last year he predicted they would reach the milestone about this time.


One Act Play Festival features two nights of original scripts and classics

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The One Act Play festival returns to the newly renovated Sterndale Bennett Theatre, March 29 and 30.
To date five plays have been submitted including  submissions from Shakespeare in the Park, Two from University of Lethbridge Student’s and a couple from other community groups. Jocelyn Steinborn (centre) performing in the one Act Play Festival last year. Photo by Richard Amery

“So we’ll be going both Friday and Saturday as we currently have three long plays and a shorter one.  Could possibly do them in one night if we start early enough,” observed organizer Rita Peterson, in an e-mail.
 The festival was at Casa last year and was so popular that they had to turn people away at the door. This year, they are excited to be back in the newly renovated Sterndale Bennett Theatre for at least one day.

 The One Act Play Festival has been an important part of long standing theatre troupe Playgoers of Lethbridge’s mandate to develop actors and up and coming directors since the early ’70s
 All entries will be adjudicated by  adjudicator Richard O”Brien, who among his many accomplishments founded Red Deer college’s drama program.
“He’s been working in drama for most of his adult life,” Peterson said. There will be awards for best original script, best play, best actor and best actress. The winner can go to High River to compete in the provincial One Act Play festival May 3 and 4.

“Playgoers  of Lethbridge has been involved with the One Act Play Festival for at least 40 years,” summarized Peterson, who has participated in the festival as an actor in director many times.
 ADFA (Alberta Drama Festival Association) covers some mileage and accommodations expenses for the winner to participate in the provincial festival.
University student Tracy Wyman who has submitted an original script  called “Falling Through Time” which she will perform with Jocelyn Steinborn and Halley Gray.

“It is a series of three monologues by three women  talking about their memories and their lives,” Peterson described.
Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Edward Albee’s Zoo Story features Josh Hammerstedt and Cole Fetting, and several familiar faces from backstage including first time director Mary-Lynne  Muhly.

“They needed a director and I’ve been involved backstage with enough plays, so I volunteered,” chuckled Muhly, holding a rehearsal at her home.
 Fetting and Hammerstedt planned to perform Zoo story for last year’s  One Act Play Festival, but weren’t able to get it ready in time.

“Zoo Story is about a guy sitting on a park bench who encounters this interesting character and they have an interesting conversation,” said Fetting, a familiar face with Shakespeare in the Park and with several University of Lethbridge productions, who plays Jerry, who encounters Peter, played by Josh Hammerstedt.


CKXU FUNdrive, St. Patrick’s Day and a whole lot more happening this week

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Things really heat up on the music scene this week for St. Patrick’s Day week.
 Keith  “Catfish” Woodrow hosts a new blues jam at the Slice on Tuesday, March 12. The free jams will take place on the second Tuesday of every month.Platinum Blonde return to Lethbridge, March 15 to play the Yates Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Windy City Opry returns to the Slice on Wednesday, March 13  with the Markus Sommer band which features luminaries like Peter and the Wolves’ Peter Cormier, Curtis Glas and Ryan Funk and Tyler Allen who will open the show after a few songs from host Shaela Miller. As usual, the show begins at 8 p.m. sharp. Admission is $10.
Also on Wednesday, Kavi Ade will be performing a poetry reading at the Owl Acoustic Lounge beginning at 7 p.m.

 Thursday is busy as usual with the usual open mics at the Slice and the Zoo. Plus James Oldenburg  and Paul Holden play a special show at the Firestone Grill, March 14 from 6-9 p.m..
The Owl Acoustic Lounge features the AES (Audio Engineering Society) fundraiser, March 14,which features acoustic performances  from Tyson Ray Borsboom, Splash Zone, Dan Sequeira and Holly Kletke. The show begins at 7 p.m.  There is a five dollar cover at the door.

This weekend cooks, kicking off CKXU’s 2019 FUNdrive Into the Realm of Radio, which features a lot of fun events beginning March 15 with the Terrific Tavern Taster featuring live music from Calgary electronic/experimental ambient/pop group Carbolizer, fellow Calgarians Corinthian who will be playing techno and dance inspired music inspired by folk tales of Calgary, power punk band Strip Mall featuring members of Hag Face, the Shematomas and We Knew and Lethbridge’s object–option. There is a $10 cover charge for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.

Around the corner at the old Firehall on Friday, March 15  it is all about punk as Victoria legends the Dayglo Abortions return to tear the place apart with Chief Mountain and the Hockey Moms beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is $15. For the complete opposite to that, can con rockers Platinum Blonde will be playing all of their hits like “Crying Over You,” Standing in the Dark” and more at the Yates Theatre, March 15 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45The Dayglo Abortions return to Lethbridge to play the Old Firehall, Friday, March 15. Photo by Richard Amery.

 Down the street, young Drumheller/ Lethbridge rockers the Suit Jacket society return to Lethbridge to play the Slice with the Decadent Phase.
And anything can happen at Club Didi, so check out the Anything Goes cabaret at 9 p.m.. There might be dance, spin the bottle, movies, whatever you want.

 If you are in the mood for country and pop music, Breanne Urban and Urban Flyer return to Casino Lethbridge Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Also this weekend, Andy Mac hosts Honker’s open mic on Friday night, March 15. Frankie G hosts the afternoon open mic at Honker’s Pub, March 16.
 Saturday will be a hoot at the Owl with several activities happening beginning at 2 p.m. with the Lethbridge Girls Rock jam followed by a matinee performance by Fawns and Northcold. Admission is by donation.

 CKXU FUNDrive is in full swing on Saturday with two huge events happening.
 If you missed Love and Records, catch an abbreviated version of the always popular event at the Lethbridge Public Library from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. as Love N’ Cupcakes blends Love and Records with Cupcake Carnival. So there will be lots of record vendors, cupcakes and  music from nehiyawak, Jom Comyn, Outlaws of Ravenhurst, Jess Tollestrup, Phouka and Willy  Big Bull.
 There is no cover charge, but eat your weight in $2 cupcakes and vinyl as this year’s Fundrive proceeds are going towards setting up a new website which will allow you to download and listen to your favourite CKXU shows at your leisure.
 Fundrive fun continues with the Melodic Melee in the Pixie Pub (in the old Firehall, a Battle of the bands featuring  Youngbloods, Fawns, 21st Avenue and Tyrants of Chaos beginning at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover charge for that show. Proceeds will be split between  CKXU and the U of L Gutsy Club.
 Fawns have a busy Saturday, playing the matinee at the Owl then rushing down the alley to the old Firehall to take part in  the CKXU / U of L Gutsy Club Battle of the bands.

“We’re playing about 30 -40 minute set at the Owl Acoustic lounge. Then we’re rushing off  to the Pixie Pub, which is what  they’re calling the old firehall and we’ll be playing about the same length of time,” observed Mercedes Fawns, noting they plan to play  music from their CD “ I’m From Here,”  including the first single “Bright Red Lipstick.”

The Slice has a big metal show, March 16 with local metal band Eons of Earth, Vancouver metal band Bastian and London, Ontario metal/ Deathcore band Underlier on March 16 later that night.
For something a little different, the Lethbridge Community Silver band celebrates Spring with the Spirit of Spring at the Silver band performing at the College Drive Community Church. Kathy Matkin-Clapton and the Incanto singers will be joining them. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15, children and under get in for free.


CKXU amped about expanded transmitter and Into the Realm of Radio Fundrive

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 Thanks to the community,  local University of Lethbridge based, community radio station CKXU has expanded their signal reach, so people all over Southern Alberta who are tired of mainstream radio have another listening option.
“ There is always room for more local content. The door is always open at CKXU to start your radio journey,” said CKXU program director Adrianna Smith said.CKXU station manager Aaron Trozzo is excited about the new transmitter and Fundrive. Photo by Richard Amery
 After five years of planning, grant application and local fundraising, mostly from five Fundrives, CKXU is now broadcasting at 2,900 watts at 88.3 f.m., upgrading from the previous 150 watt transmitter, which means you can listen all the way out to Claresholm in the north, Fort Macleod in the west, down to Coutts in the south including most of the Blood reserve and out to Taber on the east. And depending on environmental factors and the strength of your car stereo, the signal reaches even further, even out to Vulcan.

“ All you need is a radio. You don’t need a computer or a streaming service, smart phone or app to listen to us now,” said  Smith, noting the station has over 40 local shows and 20 other shows  from across Canada, plus  several others in training.
“This transmitter is a long time coming and I feel privileged to be part of it,” she said.
“CKXU is 100 per cent community stakeholder driven. We have no affiliation to any outside entities. CKXU is as real as you and me,” said station manager Aaron Trozzo.

 The on air personalities include community members and U of L students who are responsible for their own programming.
 “It has been a real passion project. It has been a real long term goal for CKXU to become a bigger community presence,” Trozzo continued, adding the project took five years to complete including a long year of solid planning and another four years of fundraising and tracking down and completing matching government grants.
“ We started planning in 2013. And 2018 was the build year though there are still a few things to work out. It feels really great to have it completed,” he noted.

“It’s come with a new set of responsibilities financially and socially. We want to increase the quality of the programming so we will provide better learning opportunities for the DJs of our responsibilities,” he continued, adding that means staff must ensure additional training is in place to maintain and increase professionalism among the on air personalities.
“With the expanded reach there are 100,000 more possible listeners all over  Southern Alberta,” he observed.

 One of the big on air changes during the initial testing period was playing station IDS every 15 minutes about the signal change and giving  a phone number to call with concerns, which the station passed.

“ So we don’t have to play those anymore. The main reason for those was safety because a lot of different things use FM frequencies particularly airplanes. So those gave them a chance to call us if there was any interference, Smith said.

“ It‘s really been a long time, so we really appreciate everybody’s patience,” Smith said.

Trozzo said the transmitter cost around $120,000 including a combination of grants and the proceeds from four CKXU FUNDrives.

“We had to use a portion of the FUNDrives to keep the lights on in the station. But the transmitter is solid proof of where your dollars went to in the community,” Trozzo said.
The station is getting ready for the next FunDrive, which has the theme “Into The Radio Realm” which is March 16-22. Proceeds from this years $30,000 goal will go towards updating the CKXU website.


L.A. Radio

CKXU University of Lethbridge RadioUniversity of Lethbridge campus radio. Click here for heaps of great programing appealing to all demographics and musical tastes, spoken word and news.

Also the home of  the Hotrock Blues Beat Saturday nights @ 8-10 p.m. and Disco Sucks: Punkin’ old school Wednesdays @ 8 p.m.-10 p.m.  with L.A. Beat editor Richard Amery.

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About L.A. Beat

L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

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