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.
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 HappyTummyCalgary@gmail.com, as little as $1 will help fuel the cause.
Artfully Artless is an independent business based out of Calgary, Alberta run by ACAD art student Amanda West.
“Artfully Artless began in August of 2013 with a few insect specimens and some bones being the first listings in the shop,” says Amanda West.
Bugs, bones, jewels and stones are just a few of the arsenal this creative soul uses to recreate artistry through the imaginative use of cruelty free insects for crafts.
“I first opened the shop in 2011 but I never listed anything,” says West.
“After a few years of scavenging and gathering parts, I found last summer that my impulsive collection of deceased critters was getting out of hand, and I was running out of space for all of it,” West adds.
Amanda uses cruelty-free insects harvested from local farmers/picked herself/etc. for use in her jewellery.
“It’s more of a way of living for me,” West says.
“I don’t kill thing nor do I let my family kill things in the house or in my presence,” West mentions.
“I would not buy something killed for the sake of art, so I would not sell something that is killed for the sake of [it]” West says.
So the idea came to fruition to take the form of death and bring it back to life.
“Perhaps someone would appreciate my bugs as much as I did,” says West.
Amanda has always been known throughout the city for her innovative and awe-inspiring artwork.
“I still study at ACAD actually,” says West.
“It’s fantastic being surrounded by other artists with all sorts of styles and means of inspiring,” West adds.
“I can honestly say I never thought I’d grow as much as a creator,” says West.
To create something that was once living and give it a new breadth of life is a skill most of us are drawn to but wouldn’t have the urge to attempt.
“Almost everything I make incorporates nature in some way,” says West.
“Nature is beautiful in its living form and even after it passes on, there is this sort of shell that remains,” West adds.
“The animals that I get my bones from have either died naturally, or have been taken by the road, by hunters, by hitting windows, or have been killed by other animals,” West says.
“I’d rather remember them, and honour them, than bury them and forget,” West says.
While Artfully Artless is picking up success online, Amanda sees a bright future for the business.
“Artfully Artless is a brand that I hope to allow other creators to sell their work under. It’s not easy to get your own business started, and if I can help others get started in selling their work, I’d be happy,” West says.
For her facebook page please visit: https://www.facebook.com/ArtfullyArtlessCraft
Riley Rossmo is a Calgary based comic book artist who has gained recognition for his well detailed and vibrant style of drawing. He has worked on big name comics such as: “Green Wake”, “Rebel Blood”, “Bedlam”, and his latest adventure “Drumhellar”.
“I think [when I first took interest] my grandma gave me a G.I. Joe comic when I was about 5 and sick with a fever. I was hooked after that,” says Riley.
“The second comic I remember reading was Voltron #1 and after that I’d buy used comics from the quarter bin at the local used book/comic/record store,” he adds.
“I’ve always been into drawing narratives. I’d draw little military scenes, animal drawings, fantasy battles, design cars, etc.” he says.
“I was often bored in school so I drew all the time on everything,” Riley says.
“I received my formal training when I was 19 in college,” he shares.
Comic book art is very distinct in nature and always has an emphasis on dramatic flair. Riley draws his inspiration from the real world.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about horror and comics lately. I feel like the grotesque is easy to draw and I’d look at images of road kill, or from slaughter houses for inspiration and apply it pretty directly especially in Rebel Blood and Green Wake,” says Riley.
“The next horror comic I’d like to try and do is something in atmospheric horror,” he adds.
Being a comic book artist wasn’t always his first choice as a career either.
“Yes and no, I didn’t know it was an option really till I got older,” says Riley.
“As a teen the only people I knew in the arts that had careers were tattoo artists and I only really put my mind to doing something in art after I went on a tour of ACAD,” he mentions.
He found his success when his first big comic “Proof” was published by Image Comics.
Each edition to his collection of contributions quickly becomes his favorite series.
“Whatever’s current is always my favourite. I like making, imagining, and building stuff more than putting the final touches on this,” he says.
Most artists usually draw inspiration from the real world, experiences they’ve had, or even some fantastical ideas birthed from the recess of their minds.
“I draw my influences from film, books, comics, locations, etc. and I read a lot and listen to podcasts, when I travel,” says Riley.
“My biggest influences are probably Bill Sienkiewicz, Ego Schiele, John Byrne, and Frank Millar,” he says.
One of his long time collaborators, Kurtis Wiebe, has shared quite a bit of success as well.
“We both lived in Saskatoon for a while. I was interested in doing something new and Kurtis was open to starting a book from the ground up so we came up with a concept and started fleshing it out,” he says.
“It was pretty cool to work like that in the same physical space,” Riley adds.
“When we can work in a back and forth way like that we do good. When talking concepts or pacing, or characters, I like to do it verbally,” he says.
“On Green Wake we’d back and forth a lot and let each other’s’ ideas grow and evolve and it was a real partnership,” Riley adds.
Being artistic has always been important to Riley.
“Drawing is the only thing I’ve ever worked at that hasn’t been a grind,” he says.
Calgary has its own little niche for artists and the city is responding to the success each artist has gained.
“Comics have an interesting place in Calgary,” says Riley.
“ACAD produces a lot of artists and more of them seem to be into comics so the talent pool keeps growing,” he adds.
“Historically there have been some comic giants such as John Byrne, Todd Mcfarlene and Cary Nord from here. The thing about oil and comics is lots of engineers seems to be into comics and with all the wealth in oil lots of big comic art and comic collectors in Calgary can afford to buy stuff,” he mentions.
Some big names such as Guillermo del Toro, the Dalai lama, Rupert Sheldrake and Grant Morrison are people he’d love to meet one day. Grant Morrison is also well known for his contributions to DC comics.
Riley’s steam isn’t running out any time soon. He’s working on some new material that is quickly gaining attention as well.
“My newest book ‘Drumhellar’ (a paranormal road trip set in small town America), came out in November and I’m pretty excited about it,” he says.
“I’m co-plotting, penciling, inking and coloring it,” he adds.
Riley Rossmo has contributed to: “Seven Sons” (Ait/Planet Lar), “Proof” (Image Comics), “Cowboy Ninja Viking” (Image Comics), “Green Wake” (Image Comics), “Rebel Blood” (Image Comics), “Daken The Dark Walverin” (Marvel Comics), “Debris” (Image Comics), “Bedlam” (Image Comics), “Adventures of Superman” (DC Comics), “Dia de la Muertos” (Image Comics), and “Drumhelar” (Image Comics).
Cale Zebedee, upcoming rock and roll God, is front man bass player for the band “Risky Endeavor.”
In September he sat down with me for an interview to share insights of his band and their plans for new material, rocking the stage, and having a good time playing rock and roll music.
The article was published in SAIT’s The Press online and print newspaper publication:
Cale Zebedee in Photo:
Their music is catchy and raw, full of old school punk rock feel and new age rock music.
For a sound unlike any other, the link below offers an insight into who Risky Endeavor is:
The band is frequently posting new content on Facebook:
You can get to know them a little better:
And their tunes are often circulating the ‘net: