Arts beat followups: Pauses, presses, and producers

· The Pulse

Just because a story is written doesn't mean it's over. Here are some updates on arts stories we covered in 2022:

Winterruption YEG postponed as COVID-19 cases rise (Jan. 5, 2022)

The original story: Omicron and the domino effect inherent in booking a series of festivals across Western Canada led to the postponement of Winterruption YEG in early 2022.

Then what?: The show eventually went on in late March and early April, bringing music back to several indoor and outdoor venues after Alberta lifted most COVID-19 restrictions. It wrapped up on April 12 with gratitude and a promise to return, and it is indeed doing so — tickets are available for the festival running Jan. 25-29, with dozens of musicians, comedians, drag artists, podcasters, and wrestlers set to perform.

Retired lawyer turned playwright wins screenplay competition (Jan. 20, 2022)

The original story: Retired lawyer turned playwright David Haas won funding to turn his screenplay, Stage Door Johnny, into a short film through the Alberta Screenwriter Accelerator Program.

Then what?: Stage Door Johnny was shot over two days in February with a six-person cast that included Griffin Cork. It premiered at the Edmonton Short Film Festival on Oct. 15 and is now on the festival circuit. The ESFF published a behind-the-scenes video on the making of the film and chatted with Haas at the gala.

'Serve the artists': Glass Bookshop launches small press (May 17, 2022)

The original story: Glass Bookshop launched Glass House Press with the publication of three chapbooks by Emily Riddle, Zachary Ayotte, and Shima Robinson, aka Dwennimmen.

Then what?: All three books made their way to the Edmonton Bestseller List throughout the spring, and Riddle's Ancestors and Exes was still a poetry bestseller in November, right under her new book, The Big Melt. Glass Bookshop itself has seen big changes this year. Co-founder Matthew Stepanic left in September, and the shop moved from its pop-up space at Latitude 53 to share a building with Kind Ice Cream in Ritchie.

Jenesia in concert, writer David Haas, the cover of Shima Robinson's Bellow, a scene from video game Little Hellions, the outside of Harcourt House, a view of the post-apocalyptic set of The Last of Us

Catch up with the rest of the story on Winterruption YEG, playwright-turned-screenwriter David Haas, Glass Bookshop, GDX, Harcourt House, and film production in Edmonton.

Game Discovery Exhibition returns to showcase growing industry (July 7, 2022)

The original story: The Game Discovery Exhibition (GDX)returned from a six-year hiatus to be part of the Maker Faire at K-Days in July, showcasing local game developers such as Schadenfreude.

Then what?: Interactive Arts Alberta said more than 40,000 people visited the space during K-Days, and it published a video of event highlights. The event will be bigger this year, running from July 19 to 23 with studios from outside of Alberta in addition to local ones, as well as expanded esports. Before that the Alberta Esports Expo is coming to the Edmonton Expo Centre on Feb. 18 and 19, and various economic development agencies are engaged in further building esports.

Artist-run Harcourt House fights for its life (Aug. 4, 2022)

The original story: Harcourt House Artist Run Centre was in a "do-or-die situation," needing to raise $3.5 million to purchase its building after receiving notice from the province that its lease at 10215 112 Street NW would not be renewed.

Then what?: Harcourt House received a one-year extension after Infrastructure Minister Nicholas Milliken toured the centre in September. Its GoFundMe campaign to gather small-donor support sits at just over $44,000. If fundraising efforts fall short, the money will be used to develop a new home, board president Edmund Haakonson says on the GoFundMe page. The gallery is exhibiting Emerald Queendom by Tammy Salzl and Shorthand Forest by Breanna Barrington until Feb. 17.

Film producers' conference offers chance to raise Edmonton's profile (Sept. 9, 2022)

The original story: The International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers was about to hold its first in-person conference since 2019 in Edmonton, an event that was welcomed by the local film community as a way to get producers to consider shooting here.

Then what?: Event manager Renée Hampton celebrated the event on LinkedIn, calling it "full of local Canadian culture, food & wine, with a focus on the future of filmmaking." Curling was a hit, too. In its year in review, the Edmonton Screen Industries Office noted the production of wrestling horror movie Dark Match and the Jan. 15 release of The Last Of Us, which was shot in Edmonton in 2021.

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