Canada Reads Screening
Monday March 25 @ 11:00AM - Thursday March 28 @ 12:00PM
Local indie publisher Freehand Books has a book being featured on Canada Reads, CBC’s annual week-long Battle of the Books. Homes: A Refugee Story, by Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung is the sole contender from Alberta this year, and the first Calgary-published book to ever be involved in the competition.
Freehand Books has partnered with Shelf Life Books (1302 of 4 St. SW), where there will be daily screenings of Canada Reads. The debates will be shown each morning between 11am and noon, from March 25 to 28. Complimentary coffee, tea and light refreshments will be available, courtesy of Freehand Books.
Homes: A Refugee Story, by Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung, follows the life of the al Rabeeah family, who left their home in Iraq in hopes of a safer life. They moved to Homs, Syria. Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was just ten years old when civil war broke out on the streets around him. Homes is a remarkable true account of growing up in a war zone and ultimately finding safety in Canada, told from Abu Bakr’s perspective. It is a story that he had a deep-seated desire to share with Canadians.
Winnie Yeung has expertly crafted this story, drawing on countless hours of interviews with Abu Bakr and his family. The result is a beautifully-written, eye-opening book that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. In an interview with CBC books, Yeung reflected on the process of helping to tell the al Rabeeah family’s story: “Listening became the thing that I had to learn how to do…. To be able to just sit back and be quiet and let Abu Bakr tell the story that he needed to…. Now I'm realizing that is the best gift that we can give to anyone who's going through any kind of trauma, big or small, just to listen.”
To mark the beginning of Canada Reads, the Calgary Tower will light up. It will match the book cover of Homes: A Refugee Story.
Canada Reads is hosted by Ali Hassan between March 25 and 28. It is a week of debates where five Canadian celebrities each champion one book that they think every Canadian should read. Every day, the panellists vote one book out of the debates until there is a single book left standing. In Alberta, it airs on CBC radio at 11:05am and 8:05pm, on CBC TV at 4pm. CBC will livestream the debates at 9am MT.
Wednesday March 27 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
You're invited to the launch of Bogart Creek by Derek Evernden. Collecting the best of Bogart Creek, Derek Evernden's laugh out loud funny, single-panel comics of absurd and dark humor. Similar in style to The Far Side, Bogart Creek is a perfect book for bathroom reading, filled with laugh out loud jokes featuring nods at well known cultural and topical icons.
Derek Evernden is a cartoonist and commercial illustrator based out of the Village of Milo, in Vulcan County, Southern Alberta. A member of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, he has had political cartoons published in the National Post and in a book about the George W Bush presidency (“Saving General Washington”, Tarcher, 2006). After Trump’s election such work became too depressing and out of that void, Bogart Creek’s dark and absurd single panel cartoons were born. With over 300 comics posted online, his first book, "Bogart Creek Volume 1", is being launched by Canmore publisher Renegade Arts Entertainment, in stores on March 27th.
Thursday March 28 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Join us for the launch and exhibition of Tabula Rasa!
Tabula Rasa is a comic anthology featuring local illustrators as well as a number of special guest illustrators from around the world. Eighteen illustrators total were given the prompt to illustrate a three panel comic on the same blank slate, with the only rule being that there can't be any words. The collection of comics showcases a broad range of approaches to narrative and to the concept of silence, and is brimming with local and international illustrative excellence. Tabula Rasa is the second in a series of anthologies Cole Degenstein is putting together to celebrate contemporary illustration.
Featuring work by:
Logan T. Sibrel
How Can You Think That?!? A Political Book Club
Saturday March 30 | 10:00AM - 12:00PM
A book club for conservatives and liberals who want to get out of their echo chambers and bridge the great divide. Buy the book, read it, and come join us for a lively discussion.
We’ve all felt it: Whether we’ve argued pointlessly with someone on social media, felt our blood pressure rise as we’ve fought over politics with family members, or simply veered delicately away from certain topics, it’s hard to ignore the chasm between those who hold opposing political views. And it feels like it’s getting worse, that politics are getting uglier, and that reasonable discussion is falling by the wayside.
What can ordinary people do to bridge the great divide? We can read books that smart and reasonable people have written in defense of their views and we can talk about these books with others who may or may not wear the political stripes we do.
Come to Shelf Life Books for a monthly book club that does just that. Ideally, participants will have read the book assigned for that day, and will come prepared to discuss it. All of the books on our list will be made available by Shelf Life. We will meet from 10 am to noon on the last Saturday of every month.
If you would like to join the Facebook group, click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/778733788972927/
Pass Me By
Wednesday April 03 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Pass Me By is a queer rural tragedy in the form of a five book series following Ed, a reserved man dealing with dementia in a small Northern Canadian Town. As Ed’s memory declines he loses touch with the present and revisits a past he chose to forget.
Created by writer and illustrator Kyle Simmers and co-written by visual artist Ryan Danny Owen, Pass Me By is a split narrative following Ed as a old man dealing with dementia and in his youth, playing in a glam rock band touring across Canada in the early 70s.
In the first book in the series, Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’ we are introduced to Ed as a retired man spending his time fishing and ordering the same dishes at the local diner with his close friend Rory. Rocked by a recent dementia diagnosis, Ed attempts to keep a semblance of a normal life. As his health worsens and daily routines become increasingly difficult, his panic begins to grow. Forgetting what he orders every day at the diner, disoriented by a grocery list, lost in familiar spaces, Ed’s memories become a faded photograph of a past with the potential to disappear forever.
Kyle Simmers is a Canadian artist and illustrator born and raised in a special kind of nowhere known as central Alberta. As a freelance illustrator, Kyle has worked on everything from theatrical productions and product design to editorial illustration and large-scale mural projects. Their work explores identity and relationships in the context of gender, queerness, and subjectivity.
Ryan Danny Owen is a Canadian visual artist, writer, and queer historian currently living and working in Calgary, Alberta. His work responds to questions of identity, love, loss, desire, and emotion. Acting as love letter and protest sign, he examines his body existing in the context of queer genealogy and challenges the concept of coming after.
Saturday April 06 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
When Pugg, dog to eighteenth-century printmaker William Hogarth, finds a leather portmanteau abandoned beneath his master’s deathbed, the bereaved canine embarks on an inquiry to make sense of the disordered contents. Notes from a criminal investigation, letters between sisters, a pair of novels, and the personal reflection of one Sarah Scott lead Pugg on a journey through London’s streets, high and low. In fashionable bookstores and printmakers workshops he uncovers an inky world ruled by paper and on the way he meets a cast of printer’s devils, pirates, hacks, bluestockings, and intrepid laundresses.
Re-telling tales pulled from Hogarth’s own prints, Pugg’s Portmanteau ransacks eighteenth-century literary culture for its rumbustious pleasures, baroque complications, gothic horrors, and even the odd quiet contentment. Inspired by Defoe, Haywood, Richardson, Sterne, and Scott—authors who pioneered the English novel—the book explores the relationship between genre and gender, asking what the Enlightenment might have looked like if it had been just a little more enlightened.
Sunday April 07 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother's Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman's battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression.
Dear Scarlet is a poignant and deeply personal journey through the complexities of new motherhood, offering hope to those affected by PPD, as well as reassurance that they are not alone.
NOD Magazine Launch
Tuesday April 09 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Can You Hear Me Now? Calgary’s All-ages Poetry Slam
Wednesday April 10 | 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Can You Hear Me Now?
Come out to Calgary’s all-ages poetry slam and open mic as we gear up for the fourth annual provincial junior high and high school poetry slam competition. Poets of all ages are welcome to come out and share their words, competitively (in the slam) or non-competitively (open mic).
For more information visit http://www.cyhmnslam.com/
Classical Guitar Society of Calgary Preview Concert
Sunday April 14 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Join us for our monthly concert with the Classical Guitar Society of Calgary.
For more information, visit http://
Talon Spring Showcase
Tuesday April 16 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Thursday April 18 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
1st Legion of Utopia
Saturday April 20 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Join James Davidge, Nick Johnson and Ryan Ferrier as they celebrate their new graphic novel 1st Legion of Utopia!
The turmoil of the Great Depression galvanized Canadians to rise up and fight for improved labour conditions, social equality and universal healthcare. In the frontier city of Calgary, Holly Burnside and Brian Mah get involved with the founding of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the first national party dedicated to the needs of workers and farmers. It could have been peaceful, free from violence and prejudice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Will Holly and Brian survive this historic moment that radically transformed Canada?
Featuring a panel discussion on politics in art with special guests:
Brian Singh, Pablo Policzer & Xstine Cook.
Premiering a motion comic with music by the Static Shift
James Davidge is the writer of numerous prose and graphic novels including the Driftwood Saga, the Mathemagick series, My Modern Panic, Thirteen Minutes and The Duchess Ranch of Old John Ware. A teacher at the Willow Park School for Arts-Centred Learning, James lives just outside of Calgary with his wife and daughter.
Bob Prodor has been a creative presence in the Edmonton art and music community for over 30 years. He has created hundreds of gig posters for local and touring bands including Nirvana and Green Day, album covers for Corb Lund and Shuyler Jansen among others, and is co-creator of two graphic novels with James Davidge, (The Duchess Ranch of Old John Ware and Thirteen Minutes) as well as Road to Ruin, a graphic novel he wrote and illustrated. He also plays in a rock and roll band, Cutoffs.
An Illustration graduate from the Alberta College of Art + Design, Nick Johnson is based out of Calgary AB (the very setting for this comic!) where he creates work for children's books, animation and comic books. Currently writing and directing a feature film with New Machine Studios, he also hosts comic workshops for kids and adults and teaches Narrative Illustration at ACAD. He moonlights as the bass player for the band ME THREE, and finds inspiration in Canadian literature, horror films, and the ghosts of utopia. His work can be found at www.nickj.ca.
Ryan Ferrier is a Canadian comic book writer known for his original work with Criminy, Death Orb, Kennel Block Blues, the acclaimed D4VE series and more. As a letterer, he's worked for most major North American comics publishers.
Only Pretty Damned
Tuesday April 23 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Only Pretty Damned is a taut noir that takes you behind the big top, revealing rough and tumble characters, murderous plots, and crooked schemes designed to keep Rowland's World Class Circus afloat for another season. When Toby, former trapeze artist turned disgruntled clown, begins seeing Gloria, a young and beautiful dancer longing for a bigger role under the spotlight, his hardboiled past resurfaces. Can he live without Genevieve, his ex-trapeze partner and lover? What ruthless actions will he take to regain his position as the headlining act? And will Toby's past repeat itself as he tries to untangle the ropes that bind him and take a leap to roaring applause? Only Pretty Damned combines the pace and tone of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice with the postwar world of Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show On Earth.
Niall Howell was born and raised in Calgary, where he still resides with his wife, two cats, and a dog. He teaches high school English and is currently working on his second novel.