Sunday, 24 January 2016

February 2016 in Alberta’s Capital

February rolls around with the promise of romantic paraphernalia being everywhere you look, reminding you of either your pathetic loneliness or your obligation to open your wallet for your significant other. Fear not, losers and cheapskates, for Edmonton has the answers for all your February woes! …Well, mostly! Check out these events to enjoy with friends, dates—or your mom, should you have neither.

Swing ‘n’ Skate
When: Every Sunday
Location: Sir Winston Churchill Square
This free and family-friendly event features live swing, jazz, and big band music in the City Room at City Hall! Every Sunday there will be local bands joining the Sugar Swing Dance Club, so there will be quite the indoor show to see! The music will be broadcast directly outside for the enjoyment of the ice skaters on City Hall Plaza, too. Come down to put some pep in these chilly Sunday afternoons. See here for additional info.

Flying Canoë Volant
When: February 5th - 6th
Location: Mill Creek Ravine
Celebrate the spirit of winter at the Mill Creek Ravine with this creative cultural experience! Based on the legend of The Flying Canoe and French, First Nations and Métis customs, this event will take place in the newly-established French Quarter. With music, dance, and events, this free event is fit for the whole family. Go to this site to see more.

ECBEA Chinese New Year Celebrations
When: February 6th
Location: Boonie Doon Centre
Celebrate the Year of the Monkey! Watch lion and dragon dances, a god of fortune parade, drumming, and a multitude of other performances! There will even be face painting and calligraphy games to make it fun for the entire family. Check this out for details.
Winefest Edmonton
When: February 12th – 13th
Location: Shaw Conference Centre, Hall D
Have a posh Valentine’s Day featuring wines from around the world. Experts will be at each booth, providing a wealth of knowledge for guests as they sip and sample. The Shaw Conference Centre will even be serving delicious hors d’oeuvres, so there will be plenty more to enjoy than just fine wine. Tickets range in price from $80 - $85. See here for more.

Silver Skate Festival
When: February 12th – 21st
Where: Hawrelak Park
Check out the 26th annual Silver Skate Festival, the city’s longest running winter event! Taking place in Edmonton’s gorgeous river valley, it will be a sight to behold! See snow sculptures, participate in winter sports, and even experience the romantic Valentine’s Day Weekend Special! With its theme of “Meet Me at Lover’s Lane,” the cozy event will feature steaming cups of hot cocoa, Valentine’s lanterns, and an intimate horse-drawn sleigh ride through the park and valley. Go to this page for details.

Fort Edmonton Park Valentine’s Day Party
When: February 13th
Location: Fort Edmonton Park
Go back to 1885 and celebrate this holiday as pioneers would have! In a time where paper was precious, it was saved for special occasions … like making valentines for a loved one! Make cards, indulge in sugar cookies baked over a wood-burning stove, and sip homemade lemonade. Tickets are only $12. See this site for further information.

Disney in Concert: Tale As Old As Time
When: February 13th – 14th
Location: Winspear Centre, Enmax Hall
The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra presents their newest Disney in Concert event! Listen to music from favorites such as Frozen, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and many more while high resolution scenes play in the background. Tickets start at $29. Click here for more.  

The Dating Game
When: February 14th
Location: On the Rocks
Bringing back the iconic ‘70s Dating Game is On the Rocks. With host Sterling Scott, the night will be full of laughs, prizes, and the potential to find the one! … Or perhaps just “the one” at On the Rocks. Still, not bad! Singles not participating can of course go come down, as well. Go here for further information. 

Edmonton Event Awards
When: February 25th
Location: Theatre at the Royal Alberta Museum
Celebrate the success of your fellow Edmontonians with the first Edmonton Event Awards! With categories such as Best Supplier, Best Event, Best Innovative Idea, and Best Industry Professional, you’ll be able to see who’s who and what they offer our great city. The night will have a reception, followed by the awards, and ending with an after party. See this site for details.

Awards Night at the Garneau
When: February 28th
Location: Metro Cinema
Head down to the Metro to watch the 88th Academy Awards ceremony and watch the Oscars with other Hollywood fans. Dress up like your favorite character to actor to win prizes. Sip champagne, enjoy movie trivia, and be entertained during commercials by a stellar host! See more here.

Have a lovely February, Edmonton!

Friday, 15 January 2016


A universal gravitas
Is sealed among the stars
Hanging in the balance
Between us and who we are

A sea of constellations
Churning in an orbital tide
Retelling their stories
With ebb and rise

A volley of meteors
Titans raining wrath upon gods
Interstellar havoc
Favoring no odds

A mural of auroras
Palette of ethereal shades
Painting the heavens
With kaleidoscopic cascades

A halo of luminosity
Coronas of light
Embracing celestial bodies
Distant and tight

A scattering of stardust
From a womb of chaos
Birthing supernovas
In iridescent lust

A spark of life
Stroke of luck or grand design
Crossing the galaxy
Benevolent, malevolent, and benign

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Supernatural Epic for the Ages

Being only human is an excuse a lot of us fall back on when faced with our own limitations, but J.D. Estrada’s novel Only Human shows us that’s all we truly need to be.
Enter our reluctant hero Nathaniel Runnels, a broke and despondent reporter surviving life instead of living it. While taking the subway, he encounters a stranger who’s been looking for someone just like him. But things are always more than they seem as it turns out the stranger is Daniel, an ancient vampire who is on a quest to align supernatural and mortal forces to save the world.
Nathaniel soon learns that besides vampires being real, so are therians (werewolves), angels, demons, and the plant-like photogeni. In a wild quest that’s like a three-way with Tolkien, Lovecraft, and Carpenter (John, not Karen), this fellowship is almost more than our hero can handle. He has no idea why he’s needed for the journey. After all, these are powerful beings from lore and he’s … well, only human.
However, that is where his strength lies.
And the perseverance of the human spirit stands.
This is J.D. Estrada’s debut novel. Only Human is a crazy ride packed with Easter Eggs from pop culture, religion, mythology, and more. He’s taken global cultural beliefs and put his own spin on everything. With that said, the book does get heavy with exposition to build such a massive world, but that is pretty well a necessity with this series, as yes, this is Book 1. My only other gripe is that there are some minor spelling errors occasionally, but they don’t distract from the story.
In a market that’s saturated with traditional vamps, werewolves, and demons, check out this novel for a fresh and philosophical take. You’ll see a few things differently, even your own value as a fellow human. (And vampire pirates are awesome. Trust me.)
Follow J.D. on his Twitter, Blog, YouTube, and Google+!
Purchase Only Human here on Amazon!
Thanks and take care, all!