The Pulse: May 13, 2021

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  • 20°C: A mix of sun and cloud. 30% chance of showers in the afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. High 20. (forecast)
  • 4-3: The Oilers (35-18-2) score another overtime winner against the Canadiens (24-21-11). (details)
  • 7/9: The Oilers will face the Jets in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Oilers won seven out of nine games against the Winnipeg team in the condensed 2020-21 season. (details)

Reeling in dance films from across the pond (and beyond)

Reeling in dance films from across the pond (and beyond)

By Fawnda Mithrush Fawnda Mithrush in the Arts Roundup

While many businesses have been forced to turn on a dime during the COVID era, dance companies have been 'pivoting' for decades. 

Whether it's reinventing ways to engage new, and sometimes reluctant audiences, or animate unconventional spaces like motels or concrete parkades, Edmonton's Mile Zero Dance has long been a source of some of the city's most innovative and experimental programming — and it was ahead of the curve when it came to showing dance on film, too.

This year's REELING: Dance on Screen is Mile Zero's fifth biennial presentation of short dance films from all over the world, streaming online May 13-29. Artistic director Gerry Morita recalls how the landscape has changed in the past decade since the series began.

"The medium itself is really evolving as a potent form of film," Morita says. "Now we're seeing this on TikTok, and how people are using Instagram, all these companies are using live feed all year. This way to take the human body and this live experience into a filmed presentation format is finally coming of age."

She notes that the tools to make films have become more accessible, allowing performers from every corner of the globe to record and disseminate their work.

For this year's REELING, the jury sifted through more than 1,000 film submissions, with 34 films making the final cut to include in the series.

"It's more democratic and less elite than it was before," Morita says. "You have a million-dollar budget on some of these films, but then the next one is $1,000 and it's just as amazing."

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By Michelle Ferguson Michelle Ferguson

  • A human rights tribunal hearing has been ordered into Alberta Health Services' treatment of an Indigenous nurse, who suffered racist abuse and threats from her co-workers at the Edmonton Remand Centre. The Alberta Human Rights Commission overturned a previous decision to dismiss Eileen Ledger's complaint on April 23, reports the CBC.
  • Small- and medium-sized businesses can now access COVID-19 rapid testing through their local chamber of commerce, the province announced in a news release on May 12. A chamber membership is not required to access the tests.
  • Central Mountain Air is expanding its service from the Edmonton International Airport. On May 11, the airline announced it would be adding 33 flights to communities north of Edmonton over the summer.
  • Rather than pause its free lunch program, Edmonton's Hope Mission is delivering free lunches to students in the north of the city during the lockdown, reports Global News. The Tegler Youth Centre typically delivers 2,500 free lunches per week to 10 public and Catholic schools.
  • The 124 Grand Market is returning on May 13 for its 10th season. The Thursday version of the market will be expanded west from 124 street to 125 Street on 108 Avenue to allow shoppers to safely distance.
  • The Edmonton Convention Centre unveiled a new art display involving 2,036 golden-winged birds "individually suspended above visitors' heads," CTV News reports.
  • A new plant-based food manufacturing plant is opening in Edmonton. The new facility will allow Nabati Foods to "meet wholesale demand and enter the European market," CEO Ahmad Yehya said.
  • The spring session of the Alberta legislature has been delayed another week, so that the province can set up a remote voting system, reports the CBC. A number of trials and in-court appearances have also been postponed, as the province grapples with its third wave of coronavirus infections.
A newspaper clipping from 1924 with the headline "First 'wet' day brings a rush: Steady Stream of Permit-Seekers Flows Through Vendor's Store"

A moment in history: May 13, 1924

By Scott Lilwall Scott Lilwall

On this day in 1924, Edmontonians were celebrating the end of Prohibition in Alberta. "From the moment the vendor's store opened ... there was a continuous stream of citizens," said a newspaper report chronicling the first day of legal liquor sales after eight years.

Alberta's experiment with Prohibition was an odd one. While the province's 1916 Liquor Act banned the sale of "drinks and drinkable liquids that are intoxicating," the province didn't have the authority to stop people from making liquor in Alberta or bringing it in from other places. Weak beer was also allowed, and pharmacists could prescribe "medicinal" liquor.

By 1923, the voters were done with being dry. A petition led to a plebiscite, where a majority voted in favour of allowing liquor sales through the government. The province still allowed for communities to enact their own booze bans, which is why Cardston was a dry town until last year. Acquiring alcohol still wasn't that easy — a four-step process involved buying a permit before one could buy a bottle. Still, the change brought excited people to the vendors on the first day, with plenty of "camels" lining up to drink after a long dry spell.

Regulations loosened up over the coming decades. A 1957 plebiscite allowed more government liquor stores to open and let men and women drink together in beer parlours in Edmonton and Calgary. By 1971, the drinking age dropped from 21 to 18. During the 1993 provincial election, Ralph Klein ran on a promise of privatizing liquor sales in the province, a process he began almost immediately after winning.

In the past year, there has been a push to further ease the restrictions on alcohol. In 2020, Bill 2 relaxed drinking rules at provincial parks and picnic sites. Starting at the end of May, Edmonton will run a pilot project to allow drinking at picnic sites in seven city parks. Councillors say it is partially a response to the coronavirus pandemic, encouraging more opportunities to socialize outside.

This is based on a clipping found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse — follow @VintageEdmonton for daily ephemera via Twitter.

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Weekend agenda

By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson and Fawnda Mithrush Fawnda Mithrush

  • The Citadel Theatre's Collider Festival kicks off this week with a host of new plays to check out, care of some of the country's best and brightest playwrights. Intrigues include Mieko Ouchi's Burning Mom, Kenneth T. William's Paris, SK, Erin Sheilds's anticipated adaptation of Jane Eyre, and the musical Almost A Full Moon by Hawksley Workman and Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman.
  • NorthwestFest, the country's longest-running documentary film festival, is available for streaming to audiences Alberta-wide until May 16.
  • The Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton is hosting Chinatown Stories throughout Asian Heritage Month. The series offers three free online webinars, the first up on May 13 is Unsung in the City of Champions: The History of Martial Arts and Lion Dance in Edmonton.
  • The Art Gallery of St. Albert presents High Energy 26, featuring the work of students at St. Albert high schools. The exhibit is available online May 6-26. Guided virtual tours are planned May 14-20.
Two cranes hover over the North Saskatchewan River

Quiz time: Cleantech


Test your knowledge with this daily quiz, brought to you by the People's Agenda project:

What Edmonton company recently won $30,000 in cash and services at a pitch competition to further its efforts to detect metals in water?

  1. 2S Water
  2. Copperstone Technologies
  3. FREDSense
  4. G2V Optics

See Friday's issue of The Pulse for the answer.

The answer to the May 12 quiz was d — Adam Laughlin told Speaking Municipally he was proud to have been involved in placing the Talus Dome at its location near the Quesnell Bridge.

What do you want the candidates to be talking about as they compete for your vote? Add your voice to the People's Agenda.

Photo by Mack Male

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