The Pulse: Sept. 28, 2023

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  • 16°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy in the afternoon with 30% chance of showers late in the afternoon. High 16. UV index 3 or moderate. (forecast)
  • White/Blue/Red: The High Level Bridge will be lit white, blue, and red for National British Home Child Day. (details)
  • 2-1: The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks in overtime on Sept. 27. (details)

Rapper Arlo Maverick splays across a stoop, lit in blue under the cover of dark.

Arlo Maverick's latest celebrates blue-collar Edmonton

By Colin Gallant

A longtime Edmonton rapper is dedicating his forthcoming sophomore album to the working class.

"I've always had jobs that I've looked at as being private investors that don't realize they're investing into my dreams," 43-year-old Arlo Maverick told Taproot. "I would take on jobs that would provide me with the flexibility to be able to reinvest in the music, and also provide me with enough money to reinvest in music."

Blue Collar, which comes out on Oct. 20, is his second full-length release as a solo artist. Prior to performing on his own, he was best known as a member of the hip-hop crew Politic Live.

"I've always been based out of Edmonton. I think that it's probably my biggest source of inspiration," said Maverick, who has been rapping since high school. "As much as people wonder why I love Edmonton so much, I don't think I would create what I create had it not been for Edmonton and the community that surrounds me."

Blue Collar features fellow Edmontonians KazMega, Just Moe, Selassie Drah, and Dirt Gritie (also of Politic Live), among others. KazMega and Just Moe appear on lead single Night Shift. The video depicts the experience of working overnight to get by, though Maverick says his album is for workers of all stripes.

"I work in the oil industry, but the album isn't just for people who work in the oil industry or people who work in factories," he said. "It's something that I think a lot of people who work at desk jobs can understand or can relate to, but I just framed it from a blue-collar perspective."

Maverick works for National Oilwell Varco, whose initialism "NOV" is emblazoned on his work uniform. A new colleague once glibly joked that it stands for "Nothing Of Value," he said.

"It just seemed like a real odd comment to make to someone who's just starting. There was a point in time of me working here where the management was extremely toxic and created a really negative environment," Maverick said. "That was essentially the birth of the whole idea of writing Blue Collar, because I needed something to express, and Nothing Of Value became the first song that planted the seeds for what eventually became Blue Collar."

Maverick's next single and video is for the track Day Ones, a celebration of the local hip-hop community that artistically raised him. It comes out on Oct. 4, and features community members old and young, including those from his former record label Music for Mavericks.

Continue reading

Headlines: Sept. 28, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

An aerial view of 112 Avenue in the Highlands neighbourhood, with a red circle indicating the site of a proposed rezoning

Calls for public engagement: Highlands, Athlone, and Gariepy

By Kevin Holowack

Here are some opportunities to offer your input on civic initiatives, including rezoning a lot in Highlands for low-intensity business, rezoning a parcel in Athlone for supportive housing and park space, and refining the Gariepy renewal project.

  • Highlands Rezoning — The City of Edmonton is reviewing an application to rezone 11133 60 Street NW in Highlands from a single-detached residential zone (RF1) to a low-intensity business zone (CB1). A public hearing date will be set later in the process. In the meantime, residents can ask questions to the project planner or share their thoughts on the application until Oct. 2.
  • Athlone Rezoning — The Real Estate Branch of the City of Edmonton is proposing to rezone a vacant city-owned parcel of land in Athlone along 128 Avenue. Of the 2.6 hectares, 0.6 would be zoned for supportive housing and the rest would be zoned to protect park space. A public hearing date will be set later in the process, but residents can ask questions or share thoughts until Oct. 8.
  • Gariepy Neighbourhood and Alley Renewal (refine-level engagement) — The City of Edmonton plans to start construction on the Gariepy renewal project in 2024. The project team is inviting residents to complete a survey to ensure the final design reflects the project's vision and guiding principles. It is open until Oct. 8.

More input opportunities

Photo: An aerial view of 11133 60 Street NW, a Highlands property that is up for rezoning. (Google Maps)