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U of L students reimagine Alice in Wonderland

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University of Lethbridge students add a little twenty-first century panache to Lewis Carroll’s beloved children’s story Alice In Wonderland, with their new production happening in theDan Perryman is in the U of L production of Alice, Feb. 12-16 at the David Spinks Theatre. photo by Richard Amery David Spinks Theatre, Feb. 12-16.


“It isn’t about plot, it’s about experiencing a dream world,” said director Mia Van Leeuwen.


“Alice: A Devised adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland” is described as “an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's fantastical masterpiece that explores the puzzling journey of Alice through performing objects, movement and mask. The work will be created through a devised theatre process that reconsiders all the main characters with a focus on the surrealistic dimensions of Wonderland. ”
Students created the show based on Lewis Carroll’s original story.


“We didn’t have a script,” said Van Leeuwen, noting the roots of the production come from her immersive theatre class, which began back in September. The 22 member cast have been in active production of the show since January.


“It’s the students’ adaptation of the original story and characters,” she said the show is episodic like the book is so the students play multiple roles throughout the show.


“Some are solo roles, others are four people or  group numbers. Some include the who cast,” she said.
“It’s lots of fun,” she said.

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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.

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Lots of folk and open mics happening

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 There’s a lot of folk happening this week. But shake the snow of your shoes by dancing up a storm to the Celtic fire of Edmonton Celtic Rock band The Derina Harvey band.  They have released two albums and have released a couple new singles including “Fallen Man’s Daughter” which they entered in the CBC Searchlight competition.They play the Slice, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Karen Romanchuk plays several shows this week. Photo by Richard Amery

The Slice has  something completely different on Saturday, Feb. 16 as they feature a local hip hop showcase featuring the Psychonauts, Loyal & T Blaze, Sammy & the Fiend, Pyke, xRGx &Cliche, Kropp hopper, Ty the Aboriginal, D.N.U.T and DJ Disko. Doors open at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.


 Local folk musician Karen Romanchuk has a busy week. She plays solo at Brick and Mortar, Feb. 14  for the Traveling Dress project, a new art exhibit featuring the work of 10 local photographers who photographed their own interpretation of the same dress.The event begins at 7 p.m.
The Karen Romanchuk 3 also play the Watertown Friday and Saturday night.

For Valentines Day, James Oldenburg and Paul Holden play for your supper at the Firestone Lounge, Feb. 14 from 6-9 p.m.

 And Dale Ketcheson is playing classical guitar on Feb. 14 and 15 at the Mocha Cabana.

 And High River based country singer Bruce Peterson will be playing as Valentines Day Dance, Feb. 15 at the Lethbridge Legion. He plays the country music of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Admission is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The music goes until 11 p.m.

It is also a good week for open mics.
 if you think you’re funny, test your best jokes at Good Times’ weekly comedy open mic, Thursday, Feb. 14.

There is also an open mic at Thursday Thursdays at the Zoo at the U of L and at the Slice on Thursdays as well.


 Beaches always has an open mic on Wednesday nights and Honker‘s Pub has an evening open mic on Friday and their usual afternoon open mic on Saturday.
 The Lethbridge Folk Club also has their monthly open mic at Casa at 7 p.m. on Friday. It is the second Friday of every month.

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Dead Army film mini- movie about PTSD with Storyhive grant

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Dead Army get by with a little help from their friends and a $10,000 grant from Telus’s storyhive project.Tamara Martin puts makeup on  Ken Paul in preparation for Dead Army’s video shoot for “Back from the Dead.” photo by Richard Amery
The brand new all original modern rock band have just begun filming their first video with a little help from local filmmakers Charlie Christensen and Nick Bohle.
 “We weren’t even a band  six months ago and now we’re doing a video. Even six months ago I didn’t even think I was a very good drummer,” said drummer Ken Paul, putting on his acting hat and coffee shop apron to play a barrista serving a coffee to Victoria Officinalis, playing a soldier with PTSD in the video for Dead Army’s song “Back From the Dead.”


The band also includes bassist Chris Sarazin and guitarist/vocalist Rob Murach, who used to play in a band with producer Charlie Christensen.


“Back From the Dead is about  someone suffering from  depression and PTSD. It’s the feelings involved with that,” Paul summarized, noting he pitched the idea of a counsellor dealing with PTSD to Christensen and Bohle who expanded the concept into a multi-person narrative about a counsellor, a discharged solder, a little girl with cancer and a school principal who approach the concept from their own individual perspectives.


“I just had the idea of the counsellor, but they made it so much better,” Paul added.
“Dead Army is a radio friendly hard rock band,” Paul summarized, noting the band formed last year, and videos of them just playing in the basement have already has received thousands of views on social media.

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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.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

If you have an event you want L.A. Beat to promote, contact us by e-mail.editor@labeat.ca

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