The Pulse: April 21, 2023

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

Want this in your inbox? Sign up to get The Pulse by email. It's free!


  • 4°C: A mix of sun and cloud. 30% chance of rain showers or flurries in the afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 4. Wind chill minus 8 in the morning. UV index 4 or moderate. (forecast)
  • Red: The High Level Bridge will be lit red for World Hemophilia Day. (details)
  • 8pm: The Edmonton Oilers (1-1) play the Los Angeles Kings (1-1) at Arena for Game 3 of their first-round playoffs series. (details)
  • 7pm, April 23: The Oilers play the Kings at Arena for Game 4 of their first-round playoffs series. (details)

A host is surrounded by two couches full of three improvisers each on the Rapid Fire Theatre Exchange stage. In the background, a sign that reads "Play the Game!"

Rapid Fire Theatre warms up new home with Bonfire

By Colin Gallant

Now that Rapid Fire Theatre has settled into its new home in Old Strathcona, it's getting ready to welcome audiences to its first festival in the space.

Bonfire, which will run at the Rapid Fire Theatre Exchange from April 27 to 29, is "our festival of new ideas and new creation" starring members of the company's ensemble, artistic director Matt Schuurman told Taproot.

"It's an entire festival of world premieres or pilot episodes or however you want to look at it … It's just this spirit of innovation and experimentation."

Rapid Fire moved into the Telephone Historical Centre building at 10437 83 Ave NW this year after signing a 40-year lease with building owner TELUS in 2021. The 40-year-old arts organization needed its own venue to keep up with its programming, Schuurman said, and he can't wait to introduce audiences to it during Bonfire.

"I think it's so fitting that this is the first festival from our festival lineup that is going to be taking place in the space," he said.

The building was renovated for $3.5 million by Group2, the architectural design firm that has also handled projects for the Roxy Theatre and Varscona Theatre, among many others.

"There's this elevated sense of fun when you first step into the lobby — there's a neon sign on the wall that says 'Let's make shit up,'" said Schuurman. "There's this sense of ridiculousness and fun, but … it's a proper theatre venue with all the bells and whistles: curtains, lights, sound, all that great stuff, comfy theatre seats, and it's very much an intimate space."

For Phase 1 of Rapid Fire's occupancy, the renovation included 160 seats, a lobby, a bar, concessions, washrooms, and an artist lounge. Fundraising is now underway for a Phase 2 renovation of the basement that will include additional performance space, plus capacity for workshops, classes, and rentals. It's about 10% of its way toward a goal of $1 million.

Continue reading

Headlines: April 21, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has launched a program to provide fire prevention education to people living in encampments, which will be provided by outreach workers. The city says fire services have, since February, educated 119 members of partner agencies, including the Bissell Centre and the Edmonton Police Service, on fire safety specific to inhabitants of encampments. The fire safety education program is part of the city's new enhanced encampment response plan.
  • Taste of Edmonton has announced its 2023 performance lineup, which includes more than a dozen bands that will headline the McLennan Ross Stage in Churchill Square. Major acts include The Watchmen, Whitehorse, The Sadies, Terra Lightfoot, and Gord Steinke and The Big Stein Band. The festival runs July 20-30. All performances are free for all ages.
  • The city announced that Janine Mryglod has been appointed Interim City Auditor effective May 10. Mryglod joined the Office of the City Auditor in 2006 and previously worked for the Office of the Auditor General of Alberta. She is president of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Edmonton Chapter.
  • Const. Harvinder Dhami, a member of the Strathcona County RCMP detachment who died in an on-duty collision on April 10, was remembered at a regimental funeral in Sherwood Park on April 20. Around 750 police officers participated in the procession, including RCMP from across Canada.
  • Large Edmonton Oilers numbers have started to appear around the city, including Evander Kane's 91 at the Canada Golf Card Driving Range and Mini Golf, and Mattias Ekholm's 14 near Snow Valley. The phenomenon also occurred during the Oilers' 2022 playoffs run, but it is unknown who is responsible.
  • The Edmonton Elks are letting 90 fans pay $250 to have their name appear on the helmet of a player during the home opener against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on June 11. After the game, the fans will also get a set of framed decals and an autograph from one of the Elks who played in the game.
  • The Alberta Airsheds Council released its 2022 Annual Air Quality Report. The report pulls together the work of Alberta's 10 Airsheds, which are regional associations responsible for air monitoring. According to a release, the monitoring stations found air to be in the low-risk range of the Air Quality Health Index 88% to 99.5% of the time. "Our current results indicate that the air Albertans are breathing is low risk the vast majority of the time; however, air quality challenges remain in many areas of the province," said council co-chair Gary Redmond.
Christine Frederick smiles as she talks about the 30th anniversary of the Dreamspeakers International Indigenous Film Festival

Weekend agenda: April 21-23, 2023

By Debbi Serafinchon

This weekend offers a celebration of Indigenous films, a tattoo convention, a behind-the-scenes look at an art collection, a poetry reading, and a conversation with an award-winning author.

Find even more things to do in the Arts Roundup.

Photo: Christine Frederick, executive director of the Dreamspeakers International Indigenous Film Festival, invites viewers to the 30th anniversary of the festival, which is showing films at Metro Cinema and the Stanley A. Milner Library until April 23. (Keep Alberta Rolling)