Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Overview of the Scene for Ricardo from the Tubby Dog Line-Up

Backstory: After the last night of our 5th Annual Calgary Blow-Out, which was fairly well-attended in spite of the rain, our collective stomach was growling. Clinton St. John and his band (whose multi-media & music performance was completely mind-blowing!) loaded out their gear and ryan, Paul, Morley, Fonda and I finished locking up Arrata and turning off lights, we led the charge to Tubby Dog. We missed Chris Ewart goofing and doing really accurate impressions like last year, but the tube steaks didn't lose their greasy flavour, all topped with chips, wasabi, jelly, and what have you.
In the lineup before we got our hands dirty, I pressed the flesh with one Ricardo, who said he was new to town and wanted to know about the Calgary literary community. He dropped me an email today and I thought I would share my answer in case it comes in handy to the rest of you.
Hi Ricardo! So nice to hear from you. Did you end up having the A-Bomb or the Sumo Dog? How satisfying tubed meat can be at 2:00 a.m. after a literary festival!

In Calgary, there are several community groups that come out of magazines or reading series. These groups overlap occasionally; filling Station attempts to bring them together whenever we can.

Umbrella Organizations:

Small Press Action Network Calgary (SPANC): This is a recently formed group of individuals who put on literary events in Calgary. Events are posted by members of many of the groups below. If you look up the Google Group of the same name, you can sign up to receive an email Digest each day with literary events listed. (It's a bit slow right now but it will grow over time). SPANC is also responsible for the Independent Press & Arts Fair held each year as part of the filling Station Blow-Out festival.


The following are publications that attempt to be innovative & cutting edge, and tend to have members between 18-40 mostly:

- filling Station: A locally created, nationally-distributed literary & arts magazine. We are non-profit and run by an ever-evolving volunteer Collective. We have meetings, launch events, the annual Blow-Out festival, and occasionally sponsor / host out of town readers.

- NoD (pronounced Node) is produced by University of Calgary literary students. They have launch parties at various locations.

- dANDelion (Dandelion's a great little pub but unfortunately they don't have much community involvement).
- Freefall is a magazine produced out of the Alexandra Writer's Centre; it is a more traditional journal focussing mainly on lyric poetry and their target audience seems to be a bit older, say 45-70. Same goes for the Alexandra Centre itself.

Groups / Reading Series:

- Flywheel: This is the filling Station reading series, presented at Pages Books on Kensington every first Thursday of the month. Contact Ian Sampson at iansampson@shaw.ca or Stephanie Davis at stephanielisdavis@gmail.com Free event. filling Station also runs the annual Calgary Blow-Out festival. We are always looking for volunteers for both the magazine and our events. To volunteer, contact me (Laurie) via meditor.fs@gmail.com

- Single Onion: a mix of young & old folks. They present local readers and also bring readers in from out of town with a Canada
Council arts grant. They run the third Thursday of each month at The Marquee Room, 7:30 pm. Contact David Martin at davidmartin_62@hotmail.com Free event.

- Passion Pitch Poetry: Run by a fellow named Kirk Ramdath, this happens at Weeds Cafe in Citadel on the 2nd Wednesday of the month I think). Contact kirkramdath@yahoo.ca Free event.

- Red Mile Revenge: Happens at your favorite spot - Tubby Dog, the first Tuesday of each month. This is exclusively an Open Mic. They usually announce a theme to follow. Contact Selina Clary, seclary@gmail.com Free event.

- Calgary SLAM! and the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival (CISWF): These are run by Sheri-D Wilson and her assistant Caroline Szpak along with other volunteers and members of the Calgary Slam! team. Slams happen variously; the festival is once per year and there are volunteer opportunities. Contact Sheri-D at sheridwilson@ciswf.com or Caroline at caro@ciswf.com There is usually a small cover charge for Slams that goes towards supporting the Slam team as they travel around Canada competing. The CISWF has a mixture of free and ticketed events.

- South Country Fair: The Lotos Land Tent is a poetry tent at this mostly-music festival run by Single Onion and their Lethbridge counterpart, Most Vocal. Contact Dale Herrington at daherrington1@hotmail.com or Lori D. Roadhouse at r4m@shaw.ca

- Calgary Folk Music Festival: filling Station will be running a Poetry Tent at the festival for the first time this year! Happens July 23 to 26 in 2009. Contact Laurie at meditor.fs@gmail.com (Though I don't have further information at this time).

- Wordfest: Happens each October in Calgary & Banff, featuring a plethora of writers of all genres from all over the world. Contact info@wordfest.com

- Calgary Writers' Group: Run by writer Alison Bracegirdle, the group meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Auburn (in the base of Calgary Tower) where writers discuss their work, their projects, and share writing. Contact Alison at alisonbracegirdle@gmail.com

- Magpie Haiku: A group of poets who write haiku. Contact Joanne Morcom via the form on her website, http://www.joannemorcom.com/home.html
- Drunken Poets: Meet every night at the Ship & Anchor pub. Some folks from Single Onion and random drop ins. People bring books and read aloud or talk about poetry over pints. Contact Kirk Miles at kmiles@nucleus.com

This provides a bit of a cross-section of the community, and there is likely something I've missed.. but this should give you a good start!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:55 PM  
Blogger neonguy528 said...

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9:14 PM  

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