Entertainment briefs – September 8

The raucous and resilient Red Deer band, St. James’ Gate, is inviting fans to a two-night CD release party at the Blarney Stone North pub on Friday and Saturday.

New St. James’ Gate release party

The raucous and resilient Red Deer band, St. James’ Gate, is inviting fans to a two-night CD release party at the Blarney Stone North pub on Friday and Saturday.

The group that’s been adding more of a rock edge to its Celtic sound has released a fourth album, Licence to Kilt. Containing 12 studio tracks and two live songs, “this is our best CD ever,” promises a posting on the band’s website. “We hope to see everyone there to help us celebrate. . . . We think it is our best work to date and hope everyone feels the same way.”

St. James’ Gate brought two new musicians aboard, as well as an electric guitar and a drum kit, since losing a backup singer in a car accident in 2007. Through all the changes, fans have stayed loyal, so band members are hoping for a large turnout when they start performing songs from the new album from 9 p.m. There is no cover charge.

Georgia Graham releases new book

The freckles liberally sprinkled across Wanda’s face have always made her feel special ­— until some boys begin teasing her about having spots.

Wanda’s Freckles is the third collaboration between children’s book author Barbara Azore, from Edmonton, and Lacombe illustrator Georgia Graham. The story that lightly touches on the subject of bullying follows previous Azore-Graham joint projects, Wanda and the Wild Hair and Wanda and the Frogs.

At a time when kids are facing various pressures to conform to somebody else’s standard of beauty or perfection, this relevant tale published by Tundra Books ends up celebrating individuality and self-acceptance.

And, as usual, Graham’s colourfully original depictions of lolly-pop-headed kids give the book added whimsey and appeal.

Wanda’s Freckles is available from bookstores or www.tundrabooks.com for $21.99.

DVD recounts day of horror

One of the darkest days in Canada’s history is the subject of a new DVD.

Polytechnique recounts the events of Dec. 6, 1989, when Marc Lepine attacked Montreal’s Ecole polytechnique engineering school. He killed 14 women during his rampage and wounded many other people before killing himself.

Lepine, who is not identified by name in the film, blamed feminists for ruining his life.

“Polytechnique” was a box-office success in Quebec as a film and has been selected for viewing at a number of international film festivals.

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