Feature Voices Stories

When the lights go down at Canyon Meadows Cinemas

Experiencing a slow Tuesday night alone at the movies

CinemasIt's 9:29 p.m. and I haven't left my house.

Honestly, I was kind of avoiding leaving because my house is so warm and it is so dark outside and it looks so unappealing.

I'm going to be late for the movie that starts in six minutes, and unlike typical movies, you can't leave a 30-minute cushion for commercials; Canyon Meadows Cinemas hardly has any.


Richard Rajotte, a Calgary panhandler strives to spread happiness

Local homeless man passes kind gestures onto strangers

thumb finalRIchard4There seems to be a common theme in downtown Calgary—every person is always in a rush and busy on their cell phones. It seems no one takes the time to stop and appreciate their surroundings, show gratitude or appreciation. They are all in sync as they speed walk in the same direction, almost as if it were a colony of ants strategically placed in line, walking one by one.

So what happens when I step back from my robotic, colourless routine and take a moment to capture my surroundings mentally? I notice trends, familiar faces and the beauty of humanity. Every Monday and Thursday I walk past a panhandler who sits on the sidewalk corner of 4th Street and 5th Avenue S.W. His clothes are tattered and worn. His winter jacket looks like it is from an '80s movie.

His hair is grey, thin and looks comparable in texture to the hair from a child's troll doll. His beard is untamed and the colour of the grey clouds that are lingering overhead. I notice that he has bags under his eyes, highlighted by each wrinkle on his forehead, eyes and his mouth. I assume that the bags represent the stress of his life and current situation.


Playwright Eugene Stickland remembers Michael Green


thumb finalmichaelEarlier this week, news broke that long time cultural Calgary icon Michael Green died in a car crash. Many will miss the One Yellow Rabbit co-founder and driver of the High Performance Rodeo and his impact on this city will not be forgotten.
Fellow play-wright Eugene Stickland offers a front row account of his fondest memory.


I'm the guy in the light! Michael Green Remembered. 

Like so many others, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Michael Green in a fatal accident in Saskatchewan earlier this week. He was a gift, really, taken away too soon and so suddenly. Although Michael and I were friends for 20 years, we never had the opportunity to work together. We had been meeting with a producer on a rather ambitious project, and had high hopes for creating a show for 2017 together, but now, alas, that will never be.


Poll indicates Canadians think charities' administrative costs are too high

Experts say other factors are important to consider when deciding where to donate this Christmas

CharitiesOpEd ThumbnailIt's December again and the season of giving is in full swing. With that in mind, Imagine Canada – a voice for charities across the country – issued a poll to gain insight into how Canadians give over the holidays.

What it found was some good and some concerning news. The good news is that 62 per cent of those polled are planning on donating this holiday season. What is concerning is that 65 per cent of those surveyed think that charities spend too much on administration.