Friday, December 6, 2013A week and a bit ago, I was delighted to discover that there is a 1940s close harmony group in Edmonton called The Jivin' Belles - and I was even more delighted to meet up with them for a quick chat about their upcoming benefit concert for the Edmonton Humane Society.
The trio - Emily, Kate and Mallory - have known each other for the past three years, as students at Grant MacEwan University's music program, but have only been singing as the Jivin' Belles for a few weeks. They're accompanied by a piano, stand-up bass, guitar and drums, played by fellow MacEwan students.
All three say they have an appreciation of close harmony and music of days gone by, and their Christmas repertoire is heavily influenced by Bing Crosby's tunes with the Andrews Sisters from the White Christmas album.
"I grew up listening to 'White Christmas', and as a vocalist especially I think we're drawn to that tight, synchronized harmony. It's funny, because I'll show that record to some people and they're just like 'meh.' How do you not love this?!" said Mallory.
"I think there is more precision in having to be in sync with two other people. It's that much more of a challenge, because it is completely synchronized to the millisecond. It's so admirable of the Andrews Sisters, that they were able to get it so exact."
If you're heading to the December 15th concert, expect a wide open dance floor - the ladies hope that all attendees take advantage of the swinging tunes and get the dance floor hopping. And YES, a 1940s dress code is strictly encouraged (if you need to go shopping, you know who to call).
The concert is December 15 at 7 pm at the Sawmill Banquet Hall. Check out details, including ticket information, here.
Monday, December 2, 2013This weekend marked the end of an era in one of the biggest industries in Edmonton's history when the City Centre Airport (aka the Municipal Airport aka Blatchford Field) saw its last takeoff.
The once thriving airport has been closed to make way for a commercial and residential development (one that I am actually very eager to see), but its passing was marked with several ceremonies and events this week. Sadly I only got to visit one lecture as I was under the weather all week, but I wanted to share some WWII history of this airport, as I think it's largely unknown - both in Edmonton and around the world!
A small city in northern Canada seems an unlikely player in World War II, but my now-hometown of Edmonton, Alberta was the busiest in the world, with 840 aircraft movements in one day. The airport grew so big that the army moved to build a new airfield north of the city, where CFB Edmonton/Steele Barracks is still located and operates today. During WWII, Edmonton's population grew by 22,000 people!
Edmonton was the start of the Northwest Staging Route, a number of air strips heading north to Alaska created in autumn 1940. The route was chosen for several reasons, mostly to ensure American communication with Alaska wasn’t cut off, and the route was invulnerable to attack. The route also provided safe travel for diplomats travelling between the US and Russia. At the same time, the Americans were building the Alaskan Highway to connect the airports, starting in Edmonton.
Edmonton’s airport Blatchford Field was the first licensed airport in Canada, and during the war it (then operating as RCAF Station Edmonton, and would later become our smaller commercial airport) was also home to the Air Force Base and training schools. As you can imagine, this brought a lot of airmen to Edmonton from across the prairies.
(In fact, if it weren’t for the RCAF Edmonton base, I wouldn’t be alive. My grandmother grew up in Edmonton and was a secretary for the Americans while they built the Alaskan Highway. My grandfather joined the RCAF and was stationed in Edmonton. They met at a dance, and the rest is history! In the 1950s, the dairy where my grandma spent her youth was sold to the government and became CFB Namao, and is now a fancy suburb.)
The Americans delivered fighter and bomber aircraft to Russia via the North West Staging Route, with about 8,000 passing through the Edmonton airport. Many planes crashed, either due to weather, pilot error or mechanical failure, and Edmonton WWI hero Wop May created his own civilian para-rescue team to save men from needless death. Long-range air traffic control was also developed in Edmonton, by having a number of landline phones connected to the Edmonton airfield - crews would call in to Edmonton to see what was happening in their destination.
Blatchford Field was taken over by the city in 1946 and became a small commercial airport for several decades until our International Airport opened in 1960, but is officially closed and will become a new city development. I look forward to see how the city will preserve an important but overlooked part of our heritage - luckily, the Alberta Aviation Museum will remain open, with a focus on Edmonton's aviation history.
I've been lucky to visit the aviation museum for a few assignments (here and here), and Ian and I actually had our second date there (and the rest is history!)
All photos from Alberta Aviation Museum Archives.
Friday, November 22, 2013Hi all! Just a quick blog post to let you know about an offer eShakti is offering to my readers.
If you're looking for a new holiday frock, or maybe some warm separates to get you through the long winter ahead, now is the perfect time to check out eShakti. Every new customer at eShakti who uses coupon code LAURIE6NQF on their first purchase will get a $30 coupon! But hurry, the coupon is only valid until November 30. Happy shopping!
Posted by Laurie Callsen at 11:18 AM | ||
Monday, November 18, 2013I totally meant to post this two Wednesdays ago, but life got in the way! Sigh.
Anyway, in a return to my Wedding Wednesday posts, I thought I would talk about why I am choosing to have my wedding in November - not a very busy time for weddings in Northern Alberta! I don't know if everyone puts this much thought into their wedding date, but a) it's a pretty big day in your life and b) I wanted to make sure the timing was right. So here is my rationale...
Not as busy
Plus, Edmonton in winter is beautiful!
That said, we know that there are some people who won't be able to make it because it's November. These days, November = Christmas, so some may not be able to afford it or take time off so close to the holidays, which is understandable.
FDS (Farmer's Daughter Syndrome)
This was taken the day after Grandpa and Grandma got married.
Note the open-toed shoes! Mine are peep toes too.
Did you have a rationale behind your wedding date, or did you just pick an open day at you dream venue?
Posted by Laurie Callsen at 5:00 PM | ||
Sunday, October 27, 2013I think I'm going to have to start doing my wrap-up posts on Sundays or Mondays instead of Fridays, judging by my track record. Plus it's so easy to wrap-up my weekend once it's done! So TGIFs have turned into Sunday Snippets.
I was mentally all over the place this week. It seemed like a busy week and I didn't get any Laurie time, which made me go a little stir-crazy near the end (the PMS hormones likely didn't help anything). Then I went a little nuts over the weekend(s) and did a bunch of cleaning, which in some aspects helped my stress but then I think about how much I still have to do instead of celebrating what I've done. Luckily I took two long walks this weekend to decompress, but I feel guilty that I barely made it to the pool this month. Sigh. Even just sitting here, thinking about all I have to do this weekend and next week makes me want to crawl into bed and never come out.
Hopefully November will be much better in terms of balancing life out - I am so ready for October to be over. I'm especially looking forward to going home for a 4-day weekend to spend Remembrance Day with my family. When November rolls around it will be 4 months since I last saw them (which means Ian and I have been engaged for almost 4 months - time flies!) at the Jamboree, but the Jamboree is soooooo busy that it feels like it was much longer than that. I'm looking forward to being able to spend some quality time with my folks, and to let Daisy run around the farm.
I also know that my eShakti giveaway is over, so I'll be going through the entries soon. I had a lot of entries that didn't qualify, so I'll have to do a lot of moderating. I also forgot to ask people to leave contact information (derp) so hopefully it won't be a pain rounding up winners.
Speaking of my giveaway, eShakti made and shipped two duplicate dresses, and despite telling me that they would be sending me a shipping label, I haven't seen it. If anyone is my size (roughly 36-30-37) and interested in the dress I reviewed, let me know. I will happily give it away to the first taker, as long as they pay for shipping (local pick-up is free). Just leave me a comment with contact info.
Low of my week:
High of my week:
A blog post I loved:
Best money I spent:
Posted by Laurie Callsen at 4:36 PM | ||
Thursday, October 24, 2013On November 1 & 2, the Edmonton Heritage Council and Edmonton Historical Society are presenting a symposium on Edmonton's history called City & Memory and
for some reason still unknown to methey've asked me to be on one of the panels.
I am super excited to be partaking in the panel "Hepcats to Hipsters: Throwback Fashion in Edmonton", alongside Angela from Swish Vintage and Joy, a clothing and textiles curator for the provincial historic sites. We'll be talking about vintage and the unique (or not so unique) challenges and opportunities Edmonton presents to those who dress vintage or have an interest in historical fashion.
Have I mentioned that I'm super excited? Not only do I get to partake in the symposium as a panel member, I also get to sit in the other discussions happening during the symposium. If you're interested, the full program is here. I'm particularly looking forward to Ken Brown's keynote on Friday night, as well as a few others. Of course, some that I really want to go to are happening at the same time. Where did I put that time turner....
I hope to see some locals at the symposium! Feel free to RSVP on Facebook, and tweet with #yegheritage and #yegvintage.
Now, what to wear?!
Saturday, October 19, 2013Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about how I have to schedule time for fun or I won't do it at all?
That totally got thrown by the wayside when I picked up a temporary side gig doing some data entry. It was awesome - I'm not going to complain about extra money - but was really draining to come home from work, have a quick supper and then work another 4 hours. To everyone who works two jobs, I salute you! I am very excited to get back into a somewhat normal routine that balances life and work, but that doesn't mean I won't rule out evening work in the future to get my potential business off the ground.
I think this double working was also the reason that I took Thursday off work to wallow at home with cold medication and the Anne of Green Gables movie series. In the past when I take on too much and have very little me time, I always get sick when it's over and this was no exception.
I started feeling crappy Wednesday around noon and when I woke up Thursday I knew that if I went to work, I would be unproductive, and just make this cold last longer. It sucks to be sick, but it's actually nicer to be sick at home than at work!
Other than that, my week was great! I got to hang out with one my bridesmaids twice (once during brunch and on Wednesday when we went to an election rally), had a blast in Calgary with my sister & brother-in-law to be, and got to spend quality time with Ian, which mostly included him making his poor, sick fiancé supper.
Low of my week: Being sick. I turn into a really big baby when I'm sick.
High of my week: Toss up between hanging out with Heather on Saturday and spending time in Calgary over the weekend.
A blog post I loved:
Best money I spent: