I can’t believe this year is already the 100th anniversary of Calgary Stampede. To join in the fun, we went out to one of the many free Stampede breakfasts this morning. And I ran into Calgary city councillor Brian Pincott. I jumped on the chance to interview Brian for a few minutes to talk about Calgary 100th Stampede and the $25 million Calgary Peace Bridge. Yes, before & during last city election, I wasn’t too convinced of the $25 million price tag for a foot bridge even I was and still is a fan of renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. You see, I got hooked on Calatrava when I watched a documentary about his Turning Torso project years ago at Calgary International Film Festival. I will let you watchBrian‘s explanation of how pedestrian foot traffic has exceeded the council’s original expectation and there was an even unexpected added benefit of the bridge.
Carmen Stockton’s performance at Alberta Comedy Spectacular (June 2nd, 2012 – CBC TV and Radio LIVE recording)Friday, 1 June, 2012
LIVE comedy recording for CBC TV & Radio in Calgary
7pm Sat June 2nd, 2012
Check out my Comedy Central and Just For Laughs Comedy Festivalfeatured stand-up comedian friend Carmen Stockton’s performance at a LIVE recording for CBC TV and Radio in Calgary 7pm Sat June 2nd! See the poster for more info. Visit Carmen’s website for bio, comedy clips, and more.
I finally checked out the beautiful Calgary Peace Bridge by Santiago Calatrava. Here is a video of the bridge with my interviews of some users.
P.S. The $25m Santiago Calatrava designed Calgary Peace bridge looks and function nice. People seem to enjoy the bridge (me included), even a few don’t like the price and how the contract was awarded (I am one of those as well). I should mention I LOVE Calatrava‘s Turning Torso since I first saw it in a documentary. So while I wasn’t (and still am not) happy with the price and contract award controversy, I can’t say I was total surprised.
Wiebo’s War is one of the best documentaries I have seen this year, I highly recommend it. The film is especially relevant to Albertans as we thought we know a lot about Wiebo Ludwig from TV news but David York’s Wiebo’s War, with intimate access to Wiebo and his family over two years, will show you a lot more.
Wiebo’s War opens in theatres today (Oct 21st, 2011) in both Calgary (The Plaza) and Edmonton (Metro). And then screening in Lethbridge at 8pm, Wed Oct 26. (watch NFB trailer) Here is a YouTube trailer.
“This feature documentary focuses on Wiebo Ludwig, a suspect in a recent string of pipeline bombings. The bombings echo a campaign of sabotage he waged against the oil and gas industry in the 90s – barricading roads and blowing up wells. And when a 16-year-old girl was fatally shot on the family farm in 1999, Wiebo’s fight with the industry was thrust further into the media spotlight.
The Ludwig family are part of a Christian community that lives in close adherence to their religious values. The community is comprised of 5 married couples, 7 unmarried adult children and 38 grandchildren. They are self-sufficient in food and energy, but live in isolation and believe that those that don’t share their religious beliefs, like filmmaker David York, are living in terrible darkness.“
In English (英文)
The Alliance‘s Lee Cheuk-yan and Mak-hoi-wah are visiting Calgary today (July 31, 2011), I hope I’ll have a chance to interview Mr. Lee Cheuk-yan. The following are some news and other video clips during their Vancouver stop.
中文 (In Chinese)
Their bios in Chinese.
May 2nd, 2011 update: May 2nd Election – How can I forget? #elxn41
I am excited of this news and I am wishing/hoping for record voter turnout. Our democracy is stronger when more eligible voters care enough to vote. Vote on May 2nd if you haven’t voted in the advance polls already.
CBC News “Advance poll numbers soar 34% from 2008 - Friday, Monday busiest advance poll days ever” (emphasis added),
“More than two million Canadians turned out to cast ballots in advance polls over the holiday weekend, according to Elections Canada’s preliminary estimate, a 34 per cent increase from 2008.
Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand said 2,056,001 ballots were cast during the three days of advance polls in a “higher than expected turnout,” compared to 1,528,780 advance ballots cast three years ago.
More than 676,000 Canadians voted on Friday and more than 823,000 on Monday — the two busiest days of advance voting ever, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
And the final tally could be even higher. Mayrand said the overall figure is a preliminary estimate, and some polls may not have reported yet.”
Went to check out Calgary Farmers’ Market at its new location this past weekend and I am happy to see the market back in business. At the same time, I wasn’t alone in noticing the parking problem as I ended up parking further away to avoid the lineup. Mind you, I was a bit surprised to find a gun store/shooting range next door from the Farmers’ Market ! When reporting about the parking situation, CTV Calgary even has this bit (emphasis added). :)
“At the shooting range next door, the owner says it’s been a little tough having to watch over their designated parking spots.
“We’re trying to police politely our stalls. I mean we don’t want to get into a confrontation over parking but because our members, especially the membership that come in, they’re carrying firearms, they’re coming here to shoot so we want them to be with the firearms a short a distance as possible,” says JR Cox.”
Here is a video of Calgary Farmers’ Market.
See also Calgary Herald, “Calgary Farmers’ Market reopens today at new S.E. location“
Here are some more news articles about Brett Wilson’s Risky Business from across Canada.
* Calgary Herald, “Brett Wilson turns ordinary people into high-stakes investors with ‘Risky Business’” Here is an excerpt (emphasis added),
“As the duo stakes their life savings on one investment, Wilson will invest in the other. At the end of each episode, shot over 30 days, it will be revealed how each investment performed.
“That’s where the drama comes in,” says Wilson. “I have to be careful not to guide them to one pitch over the other, but rather, help them assess the fact that there is risk in investing.
“It’s full disclosure. They’ll understand what both of the investments are . . . And they go first. They get to pick.”
But as with any business investment, it is a gamble and Wilson says there is always a very real possibility that participants on the show could lose their life savings.
“I don’t want that for people, but you’ve got to step outside the box and take some risk,” Wilson says.
He stresses, however, that the contestants will be, by and large, younger couples who don’t yet have a huge life savings. Read the rest of this entry »
Calgary Public Library (CPL) truly has a first class and amazing collection of Hong Kong DVDs. Am I justified to make this claim?
Well, you can judge the CPL collection by the results for the 2011 Hong Kong Film Awards (announced in Hong Kong on April 17th Sunday night). Gallants (2010) won best film, the talented Nicholas Tse won his best actor award for The Stool Pigeon (2010), the talented Carina Lau, after deserving to win for many years, finally won her first best actress award in Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010).
And you know what, ALL three films are in the Calgary Public Library collection! You can find and reserve these titles by searching for the keyword “DVD” and the movie title. Enjoy.
The following are trailers of the three films.
P.S. Good job Calgary Public Library! Keep up the good work.
For the record. Cool to see Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in New York Times. Have a read.
“From Canada, Lessons on Revolution
By CHRYSTIA FREELAND | REUTERS
CALGARY, ALBERTA — Conventional wisdom has it that the Internet is dumbing us down and making politics more partisan. Sound bites are more effective than substance. The punditocracy that shapes these truisms is, needless to say, pretty certain they apply most powerfully to people in the provinces, especially those with a history of voting for the right.
That is why the election of Naheed Nenshi, a 39-year-old former business school professor, as mayor of Calgary, is a watershed event that should be of interest far beyond Canada, where he has already become a political superstar.
When Mr. Nenshi earned his upset victory last October, the first flutter of outside enthusiasm was around the fact that an Ismaili Muslim son of South Asian immigrants who came to Canada from Tanzania had been chosen to lead the capital of Canada’s conservative heartland.
The next wave of excitement was inspired by his campaign’s sophisticated use of social media to overturn Calgary’s old-boy political establishment.
The Twitter revolutions, which we are now so familiar with thanks to the oil states of North Africa, had first hit the land of the blue-eyed sheiks thanks to clever tactics like a comic YouTube video of people struggling with the mayor’s name, or providing simple online tools for supporters to color their Facebook pages Nenshi purple. Read the rest of this entry »
Love is more enjoyable and easier to write than heartbreak. And it is no expectation in writing about Lovemark and what I will coin as “unLovemark”. I will try to keep this one short.
I publicly wrote about my love of Bernard Callebaut chocolate in 2007 (and twice in passing in 2006). Since Bernard Callebaut the business entering receivership in 2010 and now Bernard Callebaut the chocolatier/businessman being found in contempt and ordered by court to pay $150,000 fine (see below for excerpt), I finally realized the heartbreak moment has arrived. If we are living in the real world where good and bad things sometime happen, then we have to also have “unLovemark” for fallen Lovemark. This is sad but sometimes life has sad moments.
Some background info
* Just before Christmas 2010, the court has concluded that Bernard Callebaut the businessman tried to launch his new brand Papa Chocolat using misappropriated bulk chocolate and moulds from his old company that was in receivership. Taking and using things that are not his personal property anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t know if Papa Chocolat will have much chance of survival.
* Bernard Callebaut the business is still in operation (by receiver Deloitte & Touche) but it is hard to imagine all these negative news about the founder and namesake of the company/brand are helping businesses or regaining the lost charm and love of the chocolate.
CALGARY – The increasingly bitter fallout from Bernard Callebaut losing his chocolate company ended Thursday with a judicial rebuke and $150,000 in fines levied against the Calgary chocolate maker. Read the rest of this entry »
Before Concrete Equities went into receivership in spring 2009, it used to be a major advertiser/sponsor of CBC Dragons’ Den and many people got to know about the company through those ads. Sadly, “More than 3,700 investors, most of whom are from Calgary, lost more than $100 million through investments with Concrete Equities.” It is sad that many people had to learn the lesson in such a hard way.
For the record.
From CBC News “Alleged Alta. securities breaches under review” (Monday Feb 14, 2011) (emphasis added),
“A hearing into a Calgary real estate investment firm’s alleged breaches of Alberta securities law got underway Monday.
Four former directors of Concrete Equities, which went into receivership in 2009, are accused of acting as dealers without being registered, not filing prospectus and making misrepresentations to investors. [...]
More than 3,700 investors, most of whom are from Calgary, lost more than $100 million through investments with Concrete Equities.“
From Calgary Herald “Concrete Equities under scrutiny at hearing – ASC to determine if now-defunct Calgary company misled investors” (Feb 15, 2011) (emphasis added),
“Monday, lawyers for the ASC outlined the case they hope to prove, which includes investors who were promised returns of more than 600 per cent and told the investments were risk free, as well as those who weren’t told of marketing commissions of between seven and 10 per cent being paid to Concrete Equities.
“You will hear evidence in the course of this hearing that Concrete Equities Inc., in raising capital in Alberta, failed to disclose certain information to its investors in its offering memoranda, which the investors will say was information that they would wanted to have known when they made their investment,” ASC counsel Andrew Wilson told the panel of three hearing the case. [...]
The ASC allegations involve David Jones, David Humeniuk, Varun Vinny Aurora and Vincenzo De Palma and six limited partnerships.
Neil Narfason, a senior vice-president at receiver Ernst & Young, told the hearing Concrete Equities – which raised $118 million from 3,700 investors – couldn’t list all its bank accounts and had accounting and bookkeeping standards that were below expectations.
“All the basic stuff was not there,” Narfason said, referring to ledgers, financial statements, tax returns and bank statements that were missing or incomplete. “It’s unusual for a company in that business not to have a handle on funds.” Read the rest of this entry »
I was fascinated by the Park Assist technology when I first saw the system at Calgary Chinook centre‘s new wing and wrote about it in detail in an earlier post (with video). Unfortunately, the Park Assist system has disappointed me over the Christmas holidays and especially on Boxing Day, one of the busiest shopping day in Canada!!!
One early morning when the parkade was empty in the back area, there were over 20 parking lights showing red, a “false negative” indicating those parking spots weren’t available when they were empty. And on Boxing Day, when the parkade was super busy, countless indicator lights were showing green, a “fales positive” indicating parking spots were available when they were occupied making shoppers extremely frustrated and disappointed (I gave up after a few minutes of looking for a parking spot)!
(Update: As you can see from the above picture, Chinook centre actually shut down the system later on Boxing Day.)
P.S. I’ve sent Park Assist an email and hopefully someone there can provide some additional information to add to this article.
In recent years, many videos of flash mob performances have been posted online and become viral videos with millions of views. Flash mob was even featured in a recent episode of the ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family.
Few days ago on Dec 15th in Calgary, there was a flash mob at TD Square organized by Pulse Studios. The following are two video clips (from different cameras). Enjoy. [HT Angie]
Here is the first video clip.
Here is a another video from a different camera (the clip turns sideway only for a few seconds).
* WIND Mobile exceeds 100,000 users [Aug 2010]
Thanks to Calgary Herald, here is a link to the raw video of “Mayor Naheed Nenshi urges city staffers to become problem solvers“. Worth a watch.
I saw this style of changeable ads on the HK subway. I wonder will this ad/display system work in Calgary to make some money for the city/Calgarians and provide some info for the riders?
Dec 27, 2010 Update: “Failed Park Assist technology at Calgary Chinook centre“
I was fascinated by the Park Assist technology when I first saw the system at Calgary Chinook centre’s new wing. I was told the system, when it is fully deployed, is capable of telling people where a car is parked given its license plate. According to Park Assist, its M3 Camera Vision System is “the world’s first single space camera guidance system” (press release). The following are two interesting interviews with Mr. Richard Joffe, Managing Director of Park Assist.
Speaking about parking technologies, feel free to check out “ParkPlus by Calgary Parking Authority – Reimagining the Wheels” for my review of the Calgary ParkPlus system and interview with Calgary Parking Authority General Manager Dale Fraser and Alderman Dale Hodges.
P.S. By the way, Park Assist will sometimes make mistake too as you can see in the following photo where the right parking spot is occupied but it still shows green.