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Westerner Days lineup features many acts from Red Deer area

This summer’s Westerner Days entertainment lineup will seem like a big, old Central Alberta family reunion.

From Big Sugar and Wide Mouth Mason to The Boom Chucka Boys, Randi Boulton, Steve Arsenault and Spandy Andy, many acts appearing at this year’s fair from July 15-19 have a direct connection to the Red Deer area. READ

Rogers, Shaw apologize for cutting away from David Letterman’s final goodbye

Rogers and Shaw say they’re sorry for cutting away early from David Letterman’s last show, preventing some viewers from seeing the late-night host’s final sign-off after more than three decades on the air. READ

Yates channels the Gaels

Murray Yates went from having a Juno-nominated band to working on Hollywood soundtracks to co-writing a Gaelic song for a short film that’s racking up international accolades. And it all began in Red Deer. READ

The secret is out

When The Wet Secrets play in Red Deer, it will be a homecoming for drummer Trevor Anderson — as well as the vintage Red Deer Royals uniforms the musicians will be wearing. READ

Young soloists featured as RDSO season draws to a close

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra season promises to end in grandiose — but populist — style. Maurice Ravel’s beloved Bolero is on the program, along with another crowd pleaser, Otterino Respighi’s Pines of Rome, on Saturday, June 6, at the Red Deer College Arts Centre. READ

Ready to rock: lineup unveiled for Sylvan Lake music festival

Hedley, Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good, Dragonette and Dear Rouge are the first acts announced for a brand-new, two-day outdoor music festival planned for Sylvan Lake this summer. READ

Absorb the unfamiliar

John Stowell wants to take Central Albertans on a musical journey into less-travelled territory. To appreciate the open jazz tunes played by his trio, Scenes, Stowell advises listeners to sit back and absorb the “unfamiliar” sounds with an open mind. READ

Stagger digs deep for new album

Leeroy Stagger’s new album Dream It All Away is described as a personal road trip. The singer/songwriter has dug deep into his own troubled childhood for some of the inspiration, and hopes his “honest” tunes are meaningful to listeners who are also seeking their own happiness and resolution. Some might disparage these songs as “diary rock,” but Stagger said he’s just writing about what he knows. READ

‘It’s so hard to say good-bye’

Selecting the best scenes and songs from the last decade of Tree House theatre shows was bittersweet for Matt Gould. After 10 years as artistic director, Gould is leaving the youth theatre company after the spring show, 2 For the Road, is presented from May 28 to June 6 at Red Deer’s Scott Block theatre. READ

Bull Skit offers up its best

If more people are staying home for their entertainment, the trend doesn’t seem to be affecting Red Deer’s improvisation and sketch comedy troupe, Bull Skit. READ

The Gay Nineties set to shake things up at Bo’s

The Gay Nineties refers to the 1890s, with its decadent and ground-breaking art, witty plays, society scandals and the beginning of the suffragette movement. READ

Gilmore and Giebelhaus to play Golden Circle

From making guitars to playing them in front of an audience, Dave Gilmore is going the whole nine yards. The duo of Gilmore and Kelly Giebelhaus will entertain on Saturday, May 23, as part of the In Concert at the Golden Circle series. READ

A break with convention

When Vernon Murgatroyd fractured his collarbone and couldn’t use his left hand, he didn’t take a break from composing music at the piano. The indomitable 74-year-old embraced the challenge by writing a piano piece for the right hand. READ

Hip-hop artist encourages fans to believe in themselves

To all the young people who feel like they’re drifting through life, hip-hop artist Snak the Ripper says: Persevere. “Keep on working on whatever it is you’re interested in, and believe in yourself — even if no one else does ... “Thinking too much about what other people think of you — that’s what stops a lot of kids,” said Snak, whose real name is William Scott Fyvie. A decade or so ago, the popular Vancouver rapper and founder of Stealth Bomb Records was a homeless graffiti kid, sleeping on other people’s couches. “I was really unsure of myself and I didn’t have a lot of friends,” recalled the 32-year-old, who performs on Wednesday, May 20, at Wild Bill’s Sports Bar in Red Deer. READ

Two sexual assault charges withdrawn in Jian Ghomeshi case: lawyer

Two sexual assault charges have been dropped against disgraced former broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, who was ordered Tuesday to face the remaining five charges of sexual assault and one count of choking in two separate trials. READ

Pride still going strong

After a chart-topping 50-year music career that’s taken him to the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, Charley Pride doesn’t want to think about bowing out. “I won’t retire ... I don’t want anything to do with that,” said the legendary country artist, who performs on Saturday, May 23, at Red Deer’s Centrium. READ

James welcomes fans to his living room with stripped down nostalgic concert

“Welcome to our living room,” Colin James told 600 Central Alberta fans, as he settled into a chair next to tatty lamp on Red Deer’s Memorial Centre stage. READ

An emotion-packed evening of theatre

Prisoner-of-conscience Micah shouts into the darkness: “Hello! Is anyone still out there?” READ

Navigating two different worlds

Singer Ian Kelly’s dilemma illustrates the great cultural divide between Quebec and the rest of Canada. Although the bi-cultural folk/pop artist sings in English, he’s idolized in his own French-speaking province, where his records have reached gold status and are regularly nominated for Félix Awards. Kelly has headlined the Montreal Jazz Festival, playing to audiences of up to 60,000 people — yet hardly anyone outside of Quebec has heard of him. READ

Comedy out of everyday drama

For a guy who’s funny on screen, Gerry Dee said he deals with a whole lot of drama in his everyday life. The trick is squeezing comic nuggets out of sundry tragedies, added the comedian, who performs a stand-up show on Monday, May 11, at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. READ

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