Sled Island 2014: becoming a reality

Sled Island is an independent multi-venue music and arts festival that takes place each year in Calgary at the end of June.

“Each edition presents over 250 bands alongside a selection of films, comedians and visual artists,” says Maud Salvi, executive director of the event.

“Sled Island’s mission is to support, showcase and create opportunities for local musicians and to bring the best of independent art and music to Calgary, as well as to educate people about forms of music and art that are underrepresented or totally absent in mainstream media,” Maud Salvi adds.

Sled Island is a festival that was created in 2007 by Zak Pashak, a music, arts, and entertainment hub dedicated to providing an exciting festival for Calgarians and festival goers alike.

“We officially announced we will be back June 18 to 22, 2014,” says Maud Salvi.

“Right now the bulk of the work involves grant writing and finding sponsors for the upcoming edition, securing venues, developing our marketing plan and we also just opened artist submissions and are starting to work on programming,” Maud Salvi adds.

Because of the floods that hit most of southern Alberta including Calgary, the event was shut down this summer.

“It has been a setback even though we have been very lucky and largely supported by our community,” says Maud Salvi.

“The 2013 edition was going to be the best so far,” says Maud Salvi.

“Tickets and passes sales were really good and we were hoping to break even this time and maybe make a bit of a profit,” says Maud Salvi.

“Financially we are pretty much back to 0 now which means there isn’t room for risk taking or expansion in 2014, Maud Salvi states.

Ticket holders were given the option to either take a refund or put their money towards rebuilding the 2014 edition of Sled Island.

“We gave them all the option to either ask for a refund or invest in the future of the festival by letting us keep the money and 70% of them chose to forgo their refund, says Maud Salvi.

With regards to funding the city’s arts community, there is always going to be support in some way.

“I don’t think that I’ve lived here long enough to speak about the City’s commitment to the entire arts community but the Calgary Arts Development Authority (CADA), that receives most of its revenue from the City and distribute them through granting programs, have been a big supporter of the festival for many years,” Maud Salvi says.


Happy Tummy, happy Calgary

While a majority of charity funds hope to raise enough money to benefit a cause, Happy Tummy Calgary is raising awareness of an ever growing problem.

“Happy Tummy Calgary is a group of young students who donate money into a fund every week, 2 weeks or even every month that stems as a small contribution to a future project plan, says Akimo Creasey, head of Happy Tummy Calgary.

“Happy Tummy’s main projects include: feeding the homeless and RKOB which we call ‘Random Kindness on a Budget,’” Creasy mentions.

Homelessness and poverty is often viewed as a problem with no end in sight.

“The Idea of Happy Tummy started when I was in my basement watching prank videos and my room-mate said ‘we should pretend to hand out free pizza covered with bugs’ as a prank,” Creasy says.

“Then we thought about how cruel it would be to do it to people who would actually enjoy a slice of pizza (such as The Drop-In Centre or The Mustard Seed), so we decided that everyone has to eat, so we will raise money to feed people in need,” Creasy says.

The fact that a great idea can come out of something a prank goes to show that people are kind at heart.

“Now is a great time to start because no matter how little the donation, the future will show that through collections over weeks and months the sum would be fat enough to really treat some people to nice warm meals,” Creasy states.

“As long as the dream stays true, this will not only be annual but might turn into a thing where certain events will happen,” Creasy says.

“Where you will see us, 420? No problem we got free munchies,” Creasy jokingly says.

“I think in terms of promoting, word of mouth is the best value,” Creasy mentions.

Akimo Creasey sees no end in sight for his vision. He hopes that everyone in Calgary will jump in on his cause.

“My goal is to show people that you don’t have to be Religious to give, you don’t have to be in the right place at the right time,” Creasy says.

“If you put your mind on it, it just happens and we are all capable of spreading happiness,” Creasy adds.

“Everyone loves food,” he lastly shares.

If you wanna make a donation, send an email to, as little as $1 will help fuel the cause.


Akimo Creasey Happy Tummy

Annual Calgary Zombie Walk Takes a Bite Out of the City

Calgary Zombie Walk

The Calgary Zombie walk is an event that happens once yearly in the spirit of Halloween, The Walking Dead and dressing up to give Calgarians quite a scare.

It’s all in good fun of course, where thousands gather at Olympic Plaza dressed in their best attire of flesh, brains, blood and good vibes.

The streets were packed as zombies rushed the survivors to put up a fight for their life.

From Mario and Luigi to Batman to dead brides and corpses, the spirit of Halloween could be felt and heard throughout the downtown core.

They marched and trudged along Steven Ave. and carried onward to 17th Ave. where the crowd gathered to recollect and take a breather while socializing.

From young to old, everyone participated in the anguish.

The best part about Halloween is seeing the creativity people put into their costumes to further keep the tradition alive.

Passers-by were scared and surprised cheering and honking their horns as their eyes beheld the army of zombies strutting their way.

“I love this event and the spirit of Halloween,” one crowd member said.

Photographers took their stand along with the survivors while some were daring enough to make their way right into the heart of the walk to get the best angles and shots.

If you haven’t had the chance to attend before, I highly recommend giving yourself a good scare next Halloween.

Getting a Little ‘Risky’ with Cale Zebedee

Risky Endeavor is a 3 piece group consisting of Cale Zebedee (Bass), Paul Gervais (Drums) and Ryan Landon (Guitar) who are looking to storm the world with their melody driven, good-time-vibe rock and roll.

Cale Zebedee plays bass and shares vocals with Ryan. I sat down with Cale to find out just how “risky” his band could get.

“I’ve always been playing bass since I started [music],” says Cale.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

They originated in Calgary, Alberta contributing to the small but strong and proud music community.

“Music’s a risky endeavor,” says Cale.

“You put a lot into it and hope for something to come out of it,” he adds.

Cale has been in many bands but wishes to have no other affiliation than his current project. Risky Endeavor is looking to make a bigger impact on the music scene.

“We are going to take it as far as it takes us,” Cale shares.

“Until it doesn’t fit us anymore, we don’t care. We would still jam because we are all about having fun but being serious,” he adds.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

Cale is not a stranger to the road either. He has already been on tour across Canada.

“I love the road. There is honestly nothing better than waking up in a new place every few days,” he says.

“The only constant is change,” he shares wisely.

“It’s a whole different lifestyle, but there’s just such a romance you form with it,” he mentions.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

 “I honestly would love to do some Risky touring but we have a few other things to worry about before we do that,” such as getting well known in their hometown first and foremost.

Risky Endeavor is influenced by some of the greats and some not as well known.

Jesse Lacey (lead singer of Brand New) and Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters) are among some of their most favorite acts today.

“They just do it for me,” says Cale.

“Ryan Landon is really influenced by Modest Mouse (an indie rock group based out of Washington), and Matthew Good (based out of Vancouver), he shares.

“We all love Matthew Good,” he says proudly.

There are bright futures for these talented young men.

“Risky is going to record for a few months and work on a 2014 release of an EP,” he shares as an insight.

“We really wanted to release something this year but we want to give people the best that we have, so we have been holding off and perfecting songs,” he mentions.

You can catch Cale, Ryan and Paul at their most favorite venue Vern’s Tavern on 8 Ave SW most of the time and at Dickens Pub on 9th Avenue SW coming up.

“Our show’s on the 30th (October). It’s with a bunch of really great touring bands and I feel honoured to be on the bill.

Trace The Sky (members of Dead Eyes Open and The Perfect Trend) from Vancouver, Sharks on Fire from Vancouver, and Old Townes from Edmonton.

“It’s at Dickens Pub. It’s the day before Halloween so we are probably going to dress up,” says Cale.

If you’d like to get dressed up, get risky and get rowdy, be sure to grab your tickets before they run out.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

Calgary’s Music Scene through the Eyes of Young Talent

Calgary has always been viewed as a city with less of an influence on music than others in Canada. This is hardly the case for twenty-four-year-old Cale Zebedee, the bass player for the band Risky Endeavor. He spoke about his experiences in the music industry in Calgary and what music means to him.

“I’ve been in many bands over the years, many not worth any mentioning at all,” says Cale.

Music was always a big part of his life.

“When someone asks me why I love music, it’s hard to explain with words about why I care so much about it.”

“It was countless hours listening to records trying to discover what I liked and who I wanted to be like.”

Cale has been in another band famous in Calgary: Benny Sheers and the Bad Beat. But he had more to share about his current project.

“I’m currently writing with Risky Endeavor: a three piece alternative rock band.” They are known for being three cool dudes having fun playing up beat rock and roll.

The music for Cale is more than just words and lyrics.

“Playing music to me is like a religious experience. It never really lets me down. It is always a creative outlet, even if it were just drifting away in my albums.”

Music has a different meaning for each person. For some, it is purely the beat that keeps them dancing along, or the guitar shredding along at speeds incomprehensible to some. For Cale, it meant the pure raw ferocity of playing live.

“I was probably 15 or 16 when I bought ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana with my allowance. It blew my mind!”

“I had never heard and still have yet to hear such a major top 40 band give such a raw performance,” Cale remembers.

“It takes a special kind of person to tour. It’s not for everybody. I mean so many bands end up breaking up after first or second tours because of how hard it is.”

The best part for him was being on the road touring with his friends.

“But living on the road can get to you. You’re away from all your friends and family.

You’re sleeping entirely in vehicles or on floors, or wherever you can crash.”

But at the same time, he wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

“I miss being on the road more than anything. I’ve never felt at home anywhere, so being a vagabond is when I feel best.”

The music in Calgary has gone on unnoticed, even to its own citizens.

“I feel the Calgary music scene is booming in parts and dying in others,” says Cale.

“Calgary is a great place to branch out to other markets. It forces bands/artists to actually explore beyond our city to truly be successful. I find that larger cities trap musicians in their confines,”says Corey Tapp, bass player for the band Torches To Triggers, and formerly of This Is A Standoff.

Musicians aren’t necessarily in the music scene alone. They support their fellow band members as well as the other acts associated throughout the city.

“As a result, the community bands together to promote any style of music,” says Corey.

“We all try and support each other as best as we can by going to each other’s shows, doing promos where we can, and tossing each other on bills (show line-ups),” says Cale.

“One thing that makes me proud to be a musician in Calgary, or Alberta for that matter, is our province’s method (Alberta Foundation for the Arts) and support of the arts,” says Corey.

But why hasn’t Calgary seen a rise and shine like other cities (such as Toronto or Vancouver) who is known for being pioneers of music?

“Calgary will first and foremost always be an oil city and that’s what Alberta is,” Cale explains.

“Opportunities are up to the artist really. The music we make isn’t necessarily known or understood really but we can create our opportunity [here],” says Sean Sinclair, co-creator and MC for the group Chief Navaho.

“There are countless talented people in this city, but people just haven’t seen the light like in places like Vancouver or Toronto,” Cale added.

The way people gain exposure in Calgary is through radio contests.

“Amp 90.3’s Rockstar and X92.9’s Xposure have shown a bit more light on what Calgary really has to offer,” Cale says. “More people should realize that Calgary could easily become a hot spot for music.”

Cale has always supported his local music scene going to shows and being a promoter for many bands.

“I really want to get more into the business side of [music] whether that means becoming a promoter or a bar owner a producer or something along those lines.”

The way musicians survive together is by viewing the music scene as a collaboration of raw talent, instead of having each act being on their own.

“No matter what you project in a band, success or hipster Lo-Fi obscurity, the music is foremost what will sell your band and the rest is quite secondary,” says Corey.

Even when Calgary can’t find solidarity throughout the vast differences in musical taste, each musician can guarantee an influence on the city.

“Lord knows rock and roll won’t pay the bills, but if you’re smart about it you can make music your career,” Cale beckoned.