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The Debaters to discuss Alberta and Christmas in Lethbridge

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Three Canadian comedians debate the most important issues of the day—  ‘Is Alberta The Greatest Province in the Country’ and ‘Which is Better? Fake Christmas Trees or real Christmas Trees.’Steve Patterson hosts the Debaters in Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 As comedian Scott Patterson brings The Debaters to the Enmax Centre, Nov. 24.

 Patterson, host of the popular CBC radio show, the Debaters will be joined by Albertan raised comedians and actors Howie Miller and Ryan Belleville.
Patterson noted the tour includes comedians from the provinces they are touring in to ensure the show is tailored to the audience.

“One of our comedians is an Albertan, and the other is from Calgary, but moved to Toronto,” said Patterson, from “lovely Trail B.C.” He has worked with the comedians many times before.
 Patterson noted each comedian performs an individual stand-up comedy set, then will engage in the two debates.

“They get a month to prepare for the debate. Even I don’t get to see what they came up with until the show so I can have a genuine reaction,” Patterson said, adding the live performance runs  the same way and ends up being an extended version of the broadcast, though this show won’t be broadcasted.

“Comedy isn’t like  music in that people don’t tune in to hear their favourite jokes.  So every show is a really unique experience,” he said, noting  there are only three Alberta dates— Red Deer,  and Banff in addition to Lethbridge.

“So we‘ll probably do the ‘Is Alberta the best province’ debate at all of them and we might  do the Christmas Trees debate,” he said.


Junkman’s Quire show a range of styles on new CD

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Local band Junkman’s Quire are the fruits of a collaboration of several Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra and Lethbridge Community band and various local band members bringing a cornucopia of musical influences to the table.
 They just released their debut self titled EP and will be playing the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club, Saturday, Nov. 25.

 The Junkman’s Quire playing their CD release party at the owl Acoustic Lounge. Photo by Richard AmeryThe band members, cellist/guitarist and vocalist George Fowler, violinist/guitarist/ vocalist Megan Brown, saxophonist/guitarist/ vocalist Ross Samuel, violinist Tom Scott, bassist/ vocalist Steve Martin and drummer/ percussionist Isaac Neufeld not only play in several different bands but also bring a variety of influences and interests to the table.

“Lethbridge’s music scene is very vibrant and active, so there are lots of opportunities to play and for people to listen. So there is a lot of crossover,” observed George Fowler, who also performs in a duo with cellist Kris Hodgson and who was also involved with Gabriel Thaine’s Family And Friends Lethbridge Food Bank Fundraiser, Nov. 18.

“It’s an exciting time to be  a cellist. The Moulettes have a lead cello player and people are starting to form folk chamber groups with cello,” Fowler observed, noting Matt Walker originally brought the band together over six years ago after noticing Megan Brown and George Fowler while performing with the Lethbridge Symphony and wanting to play more with them.

Fowler noted the rest of the Junkman’s Quire also play in different bands and bring a variety of influences to the table as Junkman’s Quire.
“Isaac Neufeld also plays with the Global Drums and Taiko Drummers and is a metalhead. Steve martin is a busy bass player who plays with everyone. And Tom plays a lot of Celtic fiddle,” Fowler said.
“And I lived in Russia and France, so I bring a lot of Eastern European influences and traditional Scottish music,” Fowler added, noting part of “You Got the Moves,” is sung in French.
“I’m a French translator. That’s my gig,” quipped Fowler, noting as a result, bilingual singing comes naturally.

“It’s pretty incredible. We all come from a lot of different musical backgrounds,” added Megan Brown, who also plays in several different musical projects including her own band Makiisma, with local indie rock band the Silkstones, and in Burning Bridge with Steve Foord. She also teaches violin and viola at Long and McQuade.

The band members have a lot of material to choose from, but chose their five favourites for the CD.
“I picked a couple of my favourites,” Brown said.
“ Most of our writing is done  individually, but we do a lot of arranging together,” Brown said.


Lots of laughs and rock this week

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This week is a great week to both laugh and rock.Metallica tribute Damage Incorporated’s Mark Anthony. Photo by Richard Amery
But first, one half of Audio/Rocketry, Joe Vickers plays a solo show at the Slice on Wednesday, Nov. 22. He is touring in support of his EP “Wood Burning Stove.”
 There are all kinds of hilarious happenings this week as well.
 Calgary based comedian Todd Ness performs at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod on Thursday, Nov 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

 In Lethbridge, Joker’s Gone Wild return to Casino Lethbridge on Nov. 23 as well with comedians a Ben Proulx, Mike Dambra and Scott Porteous. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

 And if you are a fan of the CBC Radio show the Debaters, get ready for the live experience, Nov. 24 at  the Enmax Centre as host Scott Patterson moderates the immortal debates of “is Alberta the greatest province” and “which is better- real or artificial Christmas trees,” with Alberta born comedians Howie Miller and Ryan Belleville. Tickets are $59.50  or $87.50 with a buffet. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

On the rock side of things, Dory and the Weatherman  are playing a fundraising concert to rebuild Canyon Church Camp at Southminster United Church, Nov. 24. Several cabins were lost during the summer’s fires in Waterton. Tickets are $20.
 Doors open at 6 p.m. There will also be a silent auction.

On the other hand, get ready to bang your head with a couple of top notch tribute acts at Average Joes.

Damage Inc. will play all of your favourites from Metallica to start the night. They will be followed by Nightrain, a Saskatoon based Guns N’ Roses tribute.Tickets are $15 in advance $20 at the door. The show begins at 8 p.m.

New West Theatre and Theatre Outré explore the lighter side of death with Vigil

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New West Theatre has a busy month with three productions taking place all over the city in the next two months.

Erica Hunt and Jay Whitehead star in New West Theatre/ Theatre Outré’s production of  Vigil, Nov. 18-25 at the Trianon Gallery. Photo By Richard Amery
 First up is a “dark comedy with heart,” as New West Theatre  and Theatre Outré bring Calgary playwright Morris Panych’s “ Vigil” to life at the Trianon (104 5th Street South), Nov. 15-25.
“It’s a bucket list role for Jay. And Erica gets to play the old woman we all know and love,” observed director Kathy Zaborsky, who has worked with cast members Jay Whitehead and Erica Hunt with both Theatre Outré and New West Theatre productions.

“It’s my first time directing a straight  ahead play rather than a musical comedy revue,” Zaborsky said.

“Vigil is a classic Canadian play, It has been produced all over the place over the past 20 years,” she said.

 Vigil is about a young man who comes to visit his dying aunt in her attic, but the visit lasts a lot longer than he expected to because she continues to survive.

“ It’s a dark comedy about caregiving for an elderly relative. So anybody who has ever been a caregiver will be able to identify with it,” she continued.

“This play has a lot of comedy, but it also has a lot of heart,” she added.
 “I absolutely love this play,” she said.
Jay Whitehead, who plays the young man, Kemp, is enjoying being part of the production.


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