The Pulse: Nov. 15, 2023

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  • 4°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 4. Wind chill minus 9 in the morning. (forecast)
  • Purple: The High Level Bridge will be lit purple for World Pancreatic Cancer Day and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. (details)
  • $5 million: Edmonton-area man Donald Johannesson won a $5-million lotto jackpot on a $50 MEGA scratch ticket he bought in Fort McMurray. (details)
  • 6:30pm: The Edmonton Oilers (4-9-1) play the Seattle Kraken (5-8-3) at Rogers Place. (details)

A drag performer poses near the summit of a butte, wielding a sword, while a photographer squats to the right and takes their photo.

Drag.Jpeg focuses lens to smash stigma and reflect diversity

By Colin Gallant

A photography project that celebrates the diverse world of Edmonton drag will culminate in a set of trading cards and two events in January.

"The main reason for the project was to highlight both the drag artists and the people who are under all the makeup," Brendan Roy, executive producer of Drag.Jpeg, told Taproot. "There's an incredible spectrum of artistry within drag."

His project will produce 100 decks of trading cards (available for pre-sale until Dec. 10) for release at events on Jan. 12 and 13 at Evolution Wonderlounge in downtown Edmonton.

By day, Roy is the CEO of Boundless Photo & Film Studios.

"This is actually my 10th year as a photographer, and one of the things that matters most to me is having tangible artwork that's physical and not digital," he said. "Oftentimes, we like to throw things out into the ether with social media, but I wanted people to have something that's collectible."

That's why he created Drag.Jpeg, a 56-card collection that celebrates drag, even though cards weren't the plan at the beginning.

"Originally I wanted to do big metal-canvas prints," he said. "As I started to bring more people on, I needed to kind of rein myself in because eight metal prints could be the cost of all of the trading cards for everybody en masse."

Roy captured 28 drag artists in and out of performer mode for the project, including Twiggy, Pepper, Gemma Nye, Vanity Fair, Tequila Mockingbird, and more. Helping him were Emma Grant, Alex Drost, Ramona Elhert, and Aldynne H. Belmont — the latter of whom has written about drag's history and event protocols for the Drag.Jpeg blog.

"One of the things that I say is 'drag artists' instead of just 'drag queens,'" Roy said. "For some people, drag is a way that they express their gender identity. For some of them, it's just affirmation of their gender identity. We have male-presenting people who present a male aesthetic for their drag. We have drag kings, we have drag things, we have aliens, we have everything that you can imagine."

In addition to dispelling the idea that drag is simply cisgender men impersonating women, Roy wants to combat bigotry against drag artists.

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Headlines: Nov. 15, 2023

By Mariam Ibrahim

  • The Edmonton Downtown Business Association (EDBA) will host the Downtown Winterval on 104 Street on Dec. 1 and 2. The new seasonal festival will feature free concerts, including performances by Jamie Fine, Rich Aucoin, and alt-rock band Rare Americans, along with cultural activities and a Christmas market. The event is meant to encourage people to enjoy the city's downtown, especially as the holiday season is "one of the most critical times of the year for our small businesses," said Puneeta McBryan with the EDBA.
  • New signs installed at 34 staircases in the river valley indicating "no winter maintenance" have caused confusion among residents about the city's snow and ice control this winter. The city said that service levels for snow clearing on staircases isn't changing and that the signs are intended to manage expectations. However, the city also confirmed to Postmedia that at least seven of the marked staircases were cleared in error during previous winters. "That is likely going to create some frustration among some residents closer to those areas," said Coun. Andrew Knack. The city's snow-clearing service levels and priorities are listed online.
  • The city partnered with the Otipemisiwak Métis Government of the Métis Nation within Alberta to declare Nov. 12 to 18 as Métis Week in honour of the cultural and historical contributions of the Métis community to Edmonton. The week includes several community events highlighting the role of Métis people in Edmonton's development, and coincides with Louis Riel Day on Nov. 16.
  • Uber announced the Edmonton pilot of Uber Tasks, which will give app users the opportunity to hire drivers to complete household jobs like snow shovelling and furniture assembly. The pilot program, which is also being tested in Fort Meyers, Fla., allows Uber drivers and couriers to opt-in for tasks they are interested in completing. Drivers and couriers would be able to see the estimated earnings before taking a job. The pilot is expected to launch in the coming weeks.
  • Advocates say people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton are facing increased vulnerability and health risks as winter approaches, with new shelter beds promised for Nov. 1 still not available. Two people recently died because of encampment fires, which remain under investigation. In April, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services launched an educational campaign to reduce the risk of encampment fires as part of the city's encampment response plan. Hope Mission is working to address the crisis, including plans to add 100 new beds for women. A spokesperson for the provincial government said it is working with the city to make the 1,700 beds available and that more information would be available in the coming weeks.
  • The Alberta Securities Commission has ruled that Calgary man Ali Ghani misappropriated more than $3 million invested in the Summerside Plaza strip mall in south Edmonton. A commission panel found that Ghani, who did not participate in the hearing, distributed funds from the sale of the plaza to other projects without the consent of his 207 investors, resulting in the loss of their investments.
  • The Alberta NDP introduced a private member's bill urging the provincial government to reinstate public reporting on class sizes and establish a commission to update standards on class size and complexity. The move is supported by the Edmonton Public School Board, which has continued to report increasing class sizes and complexity even after the UCP government ended the requirement in 2019. According to the school district's most recent report, the average size of K-9 classes exceed provincial standards.
  • Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has been fined US$5,000 by the NHL for a "dangerous trip" on New York Islanders centre Bo Horvat during the team's 4-1 victory on Nov. 13. The fine is the maximum penalty for the offence and the funds will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
A newspaper clipping of a story headlined "H.B. Kline Firm Passes Half-Century Mark: Mark Anniversary By Remodelling"

A moment in history: Nov. 15, 1954

By Scott Lilwall

On this day in 1954, H.B. Kline and Company celebrated its 50th year on Jasper Avenue.

At least, it was possibly the 50th anniversary. It's a bit fuzzy when the storied jewelry store first opened at its original location at Jasper Avenue and 99 Street. Many place the date at 1904, the same year that Kline and his wife Theresa moved to Edmonton. Other records suggest the store might have opened as late as 1907.

What is pretty clear is that in 1911, Kline moved his business to 101 Street, tucked in with the Allen Theatre building. The business would remain there for the next six decades.

The Kline family was one of the earliest members of Edmonton's Jewish community, which grew larger as the city's population soared in the 1900s. While it might be known primarily as a jewelry store, the Klines' business offered an almost comical array of goods and services over the years — filling all kinds of niches for a growing city.

They had fine china and crystal glassware. They sold clocks, repaired watches, and had a precise chronometer to allow customers to set their own timepieces. Customers could also have their ears pierced in the store. Eye exams were offered, and glasses were sold to those who failed. Following the First World War, the shop did business in glass eyes for injured veterans.

The elder Kline ran the shop until his death in 1933, when ownership passed to his son Louis and daughter Anne. Their nephew later took it over, and it remained a family business until it closed in 1972. The store and its neighbour, the renamed Capitol Theatre, were then torn down.

However, H.B. Kline and Company would eventually return. When Fort Edmonton Park built a replica of the Capitol Theatre in 1911, it included a recreation of the display window and signage from the jewelry shop. It started as little more than a facade, backed by storage rooms. But an effort soon began to recreate the old store completely. Led by Kline's great-grandson, the Jewish Archives and Historical Society of Edmonton and Northern Alberta, and others, the project was successful in raising funds and tracking down actual antiques from the store's seven(ish) decades of operation.

The rebuilt H.B. Kline and Company reopened to Fort Edmonton Park visitors in 2013, both an example of early Jasper Avenue commerce and an essential part of the history of the city's Jewish community. You can see if for yourself while enjoying a horse-drawn wagon ride around the park, starting on Nov. 21 and running through February.

This clipping was found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse of @VintageEdmonton.