“The inciting moment was when I got to see Star Wars with my buddies,” Mark Henderson, artistic director of Thousand Faces Festival, said of his love for epics.
It was another moment, years later, that sparked Henderson’s idea for the festival, when recalling how George Lucas spoke about re-reading Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces to finish the first Star Wars screenplay.
The festival has been going strong since 2011. “I decided I wanted to create a festival where we explored, shared, and celebrated the truly greatest stories that are at the roots of all different cultures,” Henderson said, “many of which share very similar patterns.” These stories are what he coins a “root story”.
Continue reading Digging at the roots of a thousand faces Festival aims to connect us through root stories
Hundreds of people have given their time to share their vision for and frustration with their neighbourhood over the years. Some of them took it further and joined a committee or worked on a project. Many residents sitting at community meetings today are the same as 11 years ago when the Avenue Initiative Revitalization started. That speaks of the commitment those residents have to making their community a better place to live, work, and play. Continue reading Community leaders of revitalization Stepping up to make your neighbourhood better
Community Liaison Constable (CLC) Freddie Challenger wants neighbourhood residents to know he’s available to talk and to listen.
Assigned to the F3 district, which includes Alberta Avenue, Westwood, Elmwood, Eastwood, Delton, Parkdale, and Spruce Avenue, Challenger is responsible for working with the community to find lasting solutions to crime and disorder. Continue reading Community Liaison Constable is all ears Constable Freddie Challenger says he is here to listen
My mother always told me to be careful about what I did on New Year’s Eve because that is what I would be doing all year round. (What a good reason to avoid the dishes!) Here in North America, we usually celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks, champagne, and a midnight kiss. But how does the rest of the world ring in the new year? Most traditions are designed to attract prosperity and good fortune in the coming year.
Continue reading Ringing in the new year around the world The different ways cultures hope for a better year
Growing pains. Children have them. Families too. And so does our city. According to the city census, Edmonton’s population grew by 7.4 per cent between 2012 and 2014. More people means more housing is needed. By 2018, city council wants 25 per cent of new housing to be infill in mature neighbourhoods.
Infill is less expensive as infrastructure and services are already in place. It reduces commutes, saving on transportation infrastructure and pollution. It also saves farmland from being eaten up.
Continue reading Infill growing pains Increasing density in mature neighbourhoods
From interesting houses and beautiful yards to a ravine and river valley oasis, you will find it all in Parkdale-Cromdale. As I walk, cycle, or drive through our mature neighbourhood, I’m thankful I don’t live in a cookie-cutter treeless suburb.
Below are two different walking tours, one of Parkdale and one of Cromdale/Viewpoint (with lots of pictures!).
Continue reading Uniqueness and beauty in Parkdale-Cromdale Take a tour of interesting houses, beautiful yards, and local business
Making a budget is hard; following one is even harder. Try creating a budget when you have to guess your income for the year. That’s the position the provincial government is in when it forecasts the price of oil and the US dollar.
Continue reading Bringing the budget home Six lessons to learn from the provincial government
The teenage years are difficult for both parents and teens. Teens are searching for a self-identity and more independence. Discovering who you are and what you like requires exploration. Conflict often occurs. Adolescence is also a vulnerable and risky time because a teenager’s brain isn’t fully developed.
In a healthy family, parents provide guidance and boundaries through this volatile period. Unfortunately, many families are dysfunctional. Sometimes parents are simply unaware of the issues and emotions their teens are facing. Or worse, teens may have already been subjected to abuse, addiction, trauma, and poverty.
Continue reading Youth are vulnerable to sexual exploitation Prevention and intervention are key in stopping a life in the sex trade
Many years ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out with a group of teen moms for two years while doing research for my Master’s thesis. It was a time of just being and talking with them to understand their world. I did not maintain a “professional distance” with the girls; we became friends. We socialized together, I babysat for them, I had them over to my house, I attended their births and baby showers.
What I learned is that like everyone else, what these girls needed most in their lives were friends. They needed people in their lives they could talk to, depend on and have fun with. I was by no means their best friend, but I was someone in their circle of friends they could reach out to.
Continue reading Friends for health and happiness