The Pulse: Aug. 17, 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!


  • 31°C: Mainly sunny. High 31. Humidex 34. UV index 7 or high. (forecast)
  • Blue/Yellow/Green/White: The High Level Bridge will be lit blue, yellow, green, and white for Treaty 6 Recognition Day, which is celebrated by the City of Edmonton and the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations. (details)
  • 5:30pm: The Edmonton Elks (0-9) take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-5) at Tim Hortons Field. (details)

Side-by-side portraits of drag queen Pheromone Killz and chef Bri Campbell

Drag and food collide during Pride at Sashay, Fillet!

By Colin Gallant

An event that pairs chefs with drag performers to raise money for a queer cause is coming to Edmonton for the first time this month.

Sashay, Fillet! takes place at CKUA's radio hall on Aug. 23, smack dab in the midst of Edmonton's Summer of Pride.

"I wanted to support the cause because I love drag queens. I always have, and I thought it would be really cool to be able to mesh what I do with what drag queens do," said Bri Campbell, the executive chef at May and one of two Edmonton chefs competing in the event. "It's just right up my alley."

Yuhua Hamasaki, who competed on Season 10 of RuPaul's Drag Race will host the soirée. Attendees will be welcomed with signature cocktails before sampling four canapés matched with four drag performances. Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood MLA Janis Irwin, singer-songwriter Celeigh Cardinal, food writer Phil Wilson, and rapper Tea Fannie will judge the dishes. Proceeds benefit Calgary's Skipping Stone Foundation, which supports trans and gender-diverse youth, adults, and families.

"I think being one of the chefs for the first one in Edmonton is pretty amazing," Campbell told Taproot. "Honestly, I don't let the pressure get to me. I just want to go and have fun, and do what I do best, and let Karla do what she does best."

The Karla in question is Karla Marx, a Calgary-based drag performer, burlesque artist, host, and standup comedian. Campbell's dish and Marx's performance will pay homage to the drag performer's German heritage — any further detail would spoil the surprise.

"The dish that I'm doing is a very well-known German dish, and I've done a completely different spin on it," Campbell said.

The other Edmonton chef in the competition is Steve Brochu of MilkCrate. He'll be paired with Edmonton queen Pheromone Killz, the reigning Alberta's Next Drag Superstar. That team's approach to the competition is a little more laissez-faire.

"He did ask me about my food preferences, and it was hard for me… I'm actually a construction worker — I love all kinds of food," Killz told Taproot. "I asked him if he had any preferences, any genres that maybe he'd like to see. And he was so sweet. He was like, 'You know what, you do what you gotta do.'"

While Campbell and Killz are approaching the competition differently, they're in agreement that part of the appeal of Sashay, Fillet! is that it's the antithesis of rainbow capitalism, a phenomenon where corporations feign allyship for profit. The event is organized by a partially queer-owned company, features queer talent, and supports a gender-affirming charity.

"Skipping Stone helps with gender name changes, top surgery support for our trans community, (and offers) group programs for families and children and youth," Campbell said. "That's something that I'm really strong about because we need more of that in Alberta."

Continue reading

Headlines: Aug. 17, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

  • Pet rescue facilities across Alberta are experiencing a capacity crisis as frontline workers say more owners are abandoning their pets instead of finding shelters for them. Edmonton-based Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue said it gets about 30 calls a day from people looking to surrender pets, while Second Chance Animal Rescue Society has seen a 300% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels. Rescue workers say improving the situation requires enforcement against backyard breeders, subsidized spay and neuter programs, and education about responsible pet ownership.
  • Edmonton Unlimited is accepting applications from Edmonton-based companies to be showcased at the 10th annual Launch Party, the annual flagship event of Edmonton Startup Week, which runs Oct. 10-14. This year, Launch Party will celebrate 10 startups and award one a $10,000 prize. The deadline to apply is Aug. 27, and the event will happen Oct. 12 at the Edmonton Convention Centre.
  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi was caught off guard by a letter released by the provincial NDP calling on "Alberta's two largest cities to join the fight against the UCP's ban" on renewable energy development. "I am at a loss to understand why deputy leader Sarah Hoffman would send out this media advisory without once talking to me, my office or our administration," Sohi said in a statement provided to news outlets. In the letter, Hoffman calls on Sohi and the rest of council to "consider a resolution to condemn the UCP for the reckless harm they are causing." The UCP government introduced the six-month moratorium on new wind and solar energy projects on Aug. 3, citing rural and environmental concerns. Premier Danielle Smith later said the temporary ban was necessary because no companies are proposing backup plants powered by natural gas, blaming the federal government for creating "so much uncertainty in the market."
  • The University of Alberta received its best showing in the 20-year history of the Academic Ranking of World Universities, this year placing 91st in the world and fourth in Canada. The university improved its rank by one spot in both categories over last year, when it placed 92nd in the world and fifth nationally. The position is "a reflection of the outstanding research and teaching happening at the U of A," said university president Bill Flanagan. More than 2,500 post-secondary institutions across the world were evaluated as part of the rankings.
  • Several people were attacked by a dog in the Abbottsfield area on the afternoon of Aug. 12, and one woman required surgery due to bites on her face, legs, and hands. Police said the owner fled the scene and described the dog as a tan pit bull or a cross between a pit bull and a Doberman. Anyone with information can contact police or Crime Stoppers.
  • The Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area reported a 67% increase in total housing starts in July, seasonally adjusted at annual rates. Nationally, the housing trend line increased for a second consecutive month, from 235,819 in June to 242,525 units in July.
  • About 600 people who fled wildfires in the Northwest Territories were registered at the St. Albert evacuee reception centre as of Aug. 16. The evacuees were first told to go to Grande Prairie, but St. Albert was asked to open a reception centre at Servus Place as resources became limited. Meanwhile, Yellowknife residents were ordered to evacuate by noon on Aug. 18 as a wildfire continued to threaten the city, which is home to about 22,000 people. "The window of opportunity right now is going to allow us to evacuate everybody safely," said Northwest Territories Environment Minister Shane Thompson.
  • The second annual Muslim Heritage Festival is scheduled for Aug. 19 at Churchill Square. About 7,000 people are expected to attend the event, which aims to educate the public about the Muslim faith. "There's a lot of misconceptions about Islam that we need to eliminate," said Fawwaz Hameed, an organizer with the festival.
  • Edmonton Riverhawks starting pitcher Halen Knoll was named the West Coast League's 2023 Pitcher of the Year. The Edmonton-born 23-year-old led the league in innings pitched, was second in strikeouts, fourth in earned run average, and third in wins.
  • Edmonton Elks quarterback Tre Ford will be the starting quarterback for the second game in a row when the Elks visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Aug. 17. Last year, Ford led the team to a 29-25 win over the Tiger-Cats in his first CFL start. The Elks have yet to win a game this season.
A row of 11 Lime e-scooters arranged neatly along a downtown Edmonton sidewalk

Calls for public engagement: Micromobility, business census, Leduc dog park

By Kevin Holowack

Here are some opportunities to offer your input on various civic issues, including shared e-scooters and e-bikes in Edmonton and a proposed off-leash dog park in Leduc.

  • Shared E-scooter and E-bike Program Survey — The City of Edmonton is surveying residents to help inform future priorities for the shared micromobility program, which is currently in its fifth season. The survey is open until Aug. 30.
  • Edmonton Business Census — The City of Edmonton is collecting data to help address gaps in available business and employment information. Since May, city staff have been visiting businesses in Ward O'day-min to administer the questionnaire. All businesses, including those outside of Ward O'day-min, can also complete the survey online until Aug. 31.
  • Proposed Off-Leash Dog Park Questionnaire — The City of Leduc is seeking input on locations for a temporary off-leash dog park that will be opened in the summer of 2024. An online survey is open until Sept. 29.

More input opportunities

Photo: A row of Lime e-scooters in downtown Edmonton. (Mack Male/Flickr)