Feature A & E Stories

‘ Anything is possible’: A check-in with ‘The Big Man’

 After losing almost 300 lbs, Bill Laplante is more motivated than ever to show people that they can change their lives

thumb laplante pants tallIt's an all too common story; people decide to lose weight, eat better and focus on their health only to fall back into old routines.

But with radio personality Bill (The Big Man) Laplante, who these days goes by his birth-name, William, that played out resolution meant more than simply staying away from fried food or adding quinoa to his grocery list.


At his heaviest, 707 lbs, Laplante was tired of seeing the inside of a hospital — the fear of death a serious reality.

And with that, he's since lost more than 275 lbs.


Film workshop inspires native youth storytellers

Canada Bridges helps Treaty 7 teens express themselves through film

thumb Filmmaking-Workshop WEBCanada Bridges and aboriginal youth have teamed up this year in Siksika Nation to inspire and accomplish community success.

The non-profit organization aimed at social development and youth empowerment has recently finished facilitating a filmmaking and story-telling workshop that ran from July 21 – 25.

produced by Kelsey Solway

Thirteen youth developed their own script, then planned and shot a movie within five days. They were cast into roles such as directors, writers, editors, actors and sound and camera operators. Their hardships and collaborations resulted in a short film called "28 Moons Later."


Who’s who in the world of Calgary’s microbreweries

Meet the faces behind four of YYC’s seven brewing companies

Wild Rose Brewery’s Brian Smith, Director of Brewing Operations

thumb LB4 Edited

Recently married Brian Smith is making the two-hour and 56-minute commute from his home in Calgary to Edmonton where he works at Alley Kat Brewing Company. The year is 1998.

“… I would drive up Monday morning, crash on a buddy’s couch and drive back Friday,” said Smith, who at the time was paid $7 per hour.

Smith’s commute to work 20 years later is a much shorter journey. As Wild Rose Brewery’s director of brewing operations, Smith shares his time between the company’s Southwest location and its new brewery in the Foothills Industrial Park – this commute is only 17 minutes.  

Smith’s passion for beer did not just extend to spending hours in his car commuting to work – a trek which he completed approximately 40 times (around 120 hours) in the five months he worked at Alley Kat. Prior to deciding to pursue brewing beer as a career, Smith was brewing his own beer at home.


Young Calgary Muslims invite public to performance about the Prophet Muhammad

Free play at Jubilee spreads Islam's message of peace and understanding

thumb prophet 1Canada's largest association of Muslims and a Calgary Muslim youth group are speaking out against extremism with their performance of Muhammad: The Astonishing Story of the Prophet.

The play — sponsored by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at (AMJ) and their youth association — is part entertainment and part education, teaching Muslims and non-Muslims about the peaceful lessons of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

"This is the purpose of having this event, to show that Islam has nothing to do with extremism," says Mohsin Kamran, president of Calgary's Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.