The Pulse: April 28, 2023

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

Sponsored by:

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


  • 16°C: Mainly sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 16. UV index 6 or high. (forecast)
  • Orange: The High Level Bridge will be lit orange for the National Day of Mourning, which is marked annually to remember workers who have died, been injured, or became sick on the job and renew commitment to workplace health and safety. (details)
  • April 29: The Edmonton Oilers (3-2) play the Los Angeles Kings (2-3) for Game 6 of their round one playoffs series at Arena. (details)

Kello Inclusive model Emmy walks with a mobility aid backstage at Toronto Kids Fashion Week. Behind are her other child models dressed in black.

Kello Inclusive seeks to amplify social impact at Inventures

By Colin Gallant

An Edmonton-based talent agency for people with disabilities is hoping to raise its growing profile even further by participating in an international pitch competition later this spring.

Kello Inclusive was announced this week as one of the finalists in the startup pitch competition at the Inventures conference in Calgary on June 1.

"What we need is for people to know about us and understand that there's a company like us that exists to support being inclusive across industries," said Katie MacMillan, who co-founded the company with life partner Austin Allanach. "To go to a pitch competition like this, with a prize of $10,000, we would absolutely be able to use that for social impact and social good, and to increase our capacity for training."

MacMillan and Allanach formed Kello after their daughter Kelty, who has cerebral palsy, faced challenges in the modelling industry.

"We had some good experiences, but mostly it was just feeling like people were interested that Kelty was disabled, but nobody really knew what to do about that," MacMillan told Taproot. "(There were) lots of questions that either weren't asked or didn't know how to be asked."

Based on these experiences, MacMillan and Allanach realized there was a gap in representation and advocacy for disabled models. They incorporated Kello Inclusive, alongside the company's director of photography, Tilly Nelson, as a non-profit on June 1, 2022. Like for-profit talent agencies, Kello makes its money on commission through gigs for its talent.

In less than a year, Kello has built a talent roster of more than 75 people in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. This includes the entire cast of CBC's docuseries PUSH, and models who have done work for international brands like Lancôme and lululemon.

The momentum has continued. MacMillan was recently a semifinalist in The Odlum Brown Forum Pitch competition. Kello has also added a fourth director, Liam Stewart-Kanigan, who is helping the company expand beyond modelling and into acting. And Kello models participated this month in Toronto Kids Fashion Week shows in Calgary and Edmonton.

Continue reading

Headlines: April 28, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

  • In a long-awaited decision, the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service has declined to prosecute Const. Ben Todd of the Edmonton Police Service for excessive use of force against an Indigenous teenager in 2020, even though the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) said in its decision for the case that Todd showed a "shocking lack of judgment and disregard" for the teenager's life. The officer kicked the teenager in the head while trying to arrest him, causing life-altering injuries. ASIRT concluded in its report that it would not lay charges "in accordance with the opinion provided" by the Crown. The victim's lawyer, Heather Steinke-Attia, said the Crown's decision was incomprehensible and "quashes" ASIRT's mandate to hold officers accountable. EPS said its professional standards branch will now open an investigation into the case. Steinke-Attia said other officers, who are unidentified, had lied to medical staff about the circumstances of the incident and will be investigated for misconduct.
  • Coun. Andrew Knack questioned the province's plan to put $330 million toward a Calgary arena deal, most of which will fund infrastructure supporting the development. "Right now, municipalities across the province, not just the City of Edmonton, have massive infrastructure needs and this feels very much like a one-off," said Knack, adding that governments shouldn't be allowed to make big funding announcements so close to an election. Premier Danielle Smith indicated she would be willing to discuss funding for Phase 2 of the ICE District, which would include several towers on the former Baccarat Casino site and north of Rogers Place. The province is "ready to help if there are specific infrastructure asks in Edmonton," Smith said.
  • A large fire in the river valley near downtown Edmonton broke out around 9pm on April 27, causing some damage to the patio at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Six Edmonton Fire Rescue Services crews responded to the brush fire. No injuries were reported, and the cause is under investigation.
  • The province said in a release that its pilot project to deploy 12 sheriffs to work with the Edmonton Police Service is improving public safety in inner-city neighbourhoods. The project started in February as part of the work of the Edmonton Public Safety and Community Response Task Force and is set to end on May 31. The release says two combined police and sheriff teams in Edmonton have laid 274 charges against 66 people and executed 2,986 outstanding arrest warrants as of April 23. The province also issued a release about its similar pilot project in Calgary. Kelly Sundberg, a justice studies expert and associate professor at Mount Royal University, said police presence forces unhoused people to relocate to other areas and is confident that the solution to social disorder involves the provincial and federal governments doing "strategic master planning" based on data.
  • Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis announced on April 25 that the province is creating a new unit of provincial sheriffs dedicated exclusively to arresting people with outstanding warrants linked to violent crime. The UCP government is putting $2 million toward the Fugitive Apprehension Sheriffs Support Team, which will consist of 20 officers split between Edmonton and Calgary. According to provincial data, there are around 4,200 violent offenders with outstanding warrants in Alberta. The province also earmarked $27.3 million for provincial sheriffs earlier this month to create rural crime programs.
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569 president Steve Bradshaw spoke to Windspeaker Radio about the concerns of Edmonton transit workers and cleaning staff over social disorder in transit areas. On April 24, the Canadian Urban Transit Association released a set of recommendations to improve transit safety. The task force behind the recommendations includes representation from the Edmonton Transit Service.
  • Edmonton pickleball player Jorge Quintero was invited to be the first-ever player in the Canadian National Pickleball League, which officially launched Feb. 1, 2023. "The sport started with the older population playing it, but a lot of kids and younger people have picked up the sport, and it is growing super fast," said Quintero, who also owns a pickleball paddle company called Churco.
  • Local man Matt Devine is planning to cycle 13,000 kilometres across Canada to raise money for You Can Ride 2, an organization that removes barriers to cycling for children with disabilities. Devine told Global News he turned to cycling to improve his mental health after recovering from an alcohol addiction. His trip will take him from Halifax to Victoria and then to Yukon and the Northwest Territories before returning to Edmonton.
  • The Oilers Entertainment Group has renewed its partnership with 630 CHED for three more years. The station has been the "radio play-by-play home for Oilers hockey" for 28 consecutive years, according to a press release from Corus Entertainment, which owns 630 CHED.
  • The federal government announced a $25.3-million investment through the Rapid Housing Initiative to support affordable homes in the northern Alberta communities of Bigstone Cree Nation, Woodland Cree First Nation, East Prairie Metis Settlement, Horselake First Nation, Swan River First Nation, and Fox Creek.

Correction: This file has been updated to reflect the correct name of the charity Matt Devine is raising money for.

An actor dressed in a gothic costume holds a large book and looks into the distance while two other characters in black-and-white look on

Weekend agenda: April 28-30, 2023

By Debbi Serafinchon

This weekend offers wrestling entertainment, a whimsical take on Edgar Allan Poe, a rock-and-roll fundraiser, a concert of strings, a crafty extravaganza, and the finale of the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

Find even more things to do in the Arts Roundup.

Photo: Catalyst Theatre is presenting a concert version of Nevermore, its iconic musical about the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe, before the troupe heads to Calgary for a month-long run. (Joan Marcus)