Archives July 2023

Calgary prepares for vitality charges to hit report excessive on Tuesday

In comparison with these on a set fee, Regulated Price Possibility prospects shall be paying between $125 and $150 additional on their vitality invoice

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With vitality charges set to hit report highs in Calgary on Tuesday, concern is mounting over the power of these already maxed out to pay their payments.

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The Regulated Price Possibility (RRO) has been confirmed at 31.8 cents per kilowatt hour for Calgary — the primary time the speed has cracked the 30-cent barrier. It’s a soar from 27.5 cents in July, beforehand the report excessive. In comparison with prospects on a set fee, they are going to be paying between $125 and $150 additional on their vitality invoice.

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Meaghon Reid, government director of Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC), stated this can push much more folks to the margins.

“This RRO improve is affecting primarily individuals who can least afford to shoulder that extra value,” she stated. “We all know that vitality poverty impacts about one-in-five residents in Alberta, and that implies that you’re making some pretty vital tradeoffs to have the ability to pay your electrical energy payments.”

RRO prospects have for weeks been inspired to change to a decrease mounted fee — at the moment between 12 and 14c/kWh — by authorities officers and vitality corporations. It’s a free course of prospects are in a position to do with out value or penalty.

Nonetheless, Reid says for a lot of it’s not that straightforward. Fastened-rate contracts usually require a excessive credit standing that a lot of these severely impacted shouldn’t have.

Power charges have risen dramatically over previous two years

This fee hike is on prime of a red-hot rental and actual property market that continues to push increased the price of housing whereas different requirements like meals additionally proceed to inch up.

VCC is looking for a coverage change to permit folks with unhealthy or no credit score to entry mounted charges. She additionally is looking on the provincial authorities to place laws in place that stop the risky swings in charges that happen in Alberta and to place in place income-geared options to maintain afloat folks dwelling at or beneath the poverty line.

The rise in vitality charges has been steep. Previous to July 2021, a kilowatt worth above 10 cents on RRO was virtually exceptional. In December 2022, the speed broke by 20 cents for the primary time. August shall be a brand new degree altogether.

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Joel MacDonald, an economist and founding father of energyrates.ca, stated he expects charges to stay excessive for the subsequent six to 12 months.

He stated the present spike is occurring for a number of causes. Whereas critics level to the $200-million provincial deferral on RRO by the province’s affordability measures, MacDonald stated that is solely impacting charges by about three cents per kilowatt hour.

The larger culprits are market pressures amidst spiking demand in one other scorching summer season coupled with an energy-only grid system — one in every of two in North America. This implies technology methods are solely compensated when they’re injecting electrical energy into the grid. Most grid methods are a capability system that generate income by injecting into the grid and by offering idle capability.

This labored in prospects’ benefit from 2016 to 2019 when Alberta had among the lowest vitality costs in North America.

“Over a 20-year interval we’re gonna get excessive highs and excessive lows,” stated MacDonald. “Proper now, particularly, we’re at an excessive excessive and there’s micro causes to that.”

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A few of these causes embrace the present vitality transition to renewables, which aren’t as dependable as conventional coal or pure gasoline, whereas the federal carbon tax backstop on the supply of vitality technology is being handed on to prospects.

RRO was the cheaper choice for years

In an emailed assertion from Enmax Power, the vitality supplier stated its July figures present 93 per cent of its prospects are on a set worth plan. It’s also experiencing a rise in calls from prospects confirming its plan and taking a look at its fee choices.

Leif Sollid, a spokesman for the Alberta Electrical System Operator, stated in an e mail that the wholesale electrical energy market has elevated in worth by 59 per cent from the previous-year worth to $162.46/megawatt hour. He famous there was some reduction on the horizon with vital new technology scheduled to return on-line in Alberta inside the subsequent yr.

“It’s anticipated that this extra technology will enhance the reserve margin and alleviate stress on the wholesale electrical energy worth.”

For a very long time, RRO was a less expensive choice than the mounted fee, which pulled many Albertans over to the plan. MacDonald stated about one third of Albertans are on mounted plans, one third are on RROs, together with 112,000 Calgary households and one other third are on a floating fee plan.

It’s not simply RROs which might be at report excessive ranges. Fastened-rate offers are additionally at all-time highs — two years in the past they have been within the six cents per-kilowatt-hour vary. Nonetheless, they’re at the moment a greater deal than RROs.

“Sadly, they’re the perfect of the unhealthy choices proper now,” stated MacDonald.

[email protected]

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

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Braid: UCP expects deal in Dynalife testing debacle; new personal well being enterprise pops up

The simmering downside behind each these points — lab testing and entry to docs — is a profound scarcity of technicians, nurses and physicians

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The UCP authorities is in sad talks with Dynalife, the corporate it contracted to do lab testing for Calgary and throughout southern Alberta.

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The NDP suggests the federal government is negotiating to purchase out Dynalife.

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Not true, say authorities sources. An settlement on learn how to repair that is being hammered out and won’t embrace extra public cash. An announcement is prone to come this week.

It has been a fiasco from the beginning. The story of lengthy delays to ebook appointments in Calgary is well-known. In Edmonton, the place Dynalife has operated for many years, individuals face no waits in any respect.

The brand new UCP decision-makers blame the previous UCP decision-makers for signing what one calls “a sh-t contract.”

Former well being minister Jason Copping trumpeted alleged advantages in February — higher service for much less value, thus releasing cash for different makes use of, and so forth.

None of that has come true. Even individuals with appointments usually face lengthy waits at clinics.

The Dynalife web site now exhibits significantly shorter waits for Calgary appointments, however many different issues persist.

One other problem flared Monday, when the well being division despatched a pointy warning letter to the Marda Loop Medical Clinic proprietor who deliberate a pay-for-access system to begin Aug 1.

Assistant Deputy Minister Wanda Aubee famous that the system promised “diminished wait occasions to see your loved ones physician,” and stated this violates the Canada Well being Act.

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That’s what the physician implied. It was manner over the road.

The Marda Loop Medical Clinic
The Marda Loop Medical Clinic is seen in Calgary, Wednesday, July 26, 2023. Picture by Todd Korol /The Canadian Press

Another practices cost annual charges however just for providers resembling massages, dietitians and the like that aren’t coated by well being care.

The NDP says that ought to cease, too, though it’s been occurring for years and has by no means been dominated a violation both by Alberta Well being or the federal guardians of the Canada Well being Act.

The simmering downside behind each these points — lab testing and entry to docs — is a profound scarcity of technicians, nurses and physicians.

Everyone agrees by now — together with the federal government — that the unique contract and changeover had been badly deliberate and executed, compounding staffing issues.

In household drugs, many practices don’t have the capability to just accept extra sufferers however face increased prices for hire and provides. Burnout is driving some physicians out of shape totally.

When essential shortages meet excessive demand, novel options will pop up.

One comes from the little Metropolis of Camrose, inhabitants 20,000.

A nurse practitioner, Miriam Neufeld, has began her personal enterprise, Artwork of Caring.

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“We provide a wide range of appointments together with walk-in appointments for $25,” says a promotion. There are increased charges for preliminary assessments and a few providers.

“We are able to handle something that you simply would possibly go to any medical walk-in clinic for, which may save hours of ready to get in and to be seen.”

She presents a wide range of providers however is cautious to say this doesn’t exchange annual examinations with a primary-care physician.

“Whether or not you might be looking for well being screening, help with administration of power well being circumstances, needing a primary-care supplier or questioning how one can enhance your well being, we’ve an appointment that’s best for you,” the web site says.

It additionally notes that “there isn’t a enterprise settlement in place in Alberta to reimburse nurse practitioners in impartial apply.”

They maintain medical grasp’s levels and might diagnose, deal with and prescribe for a lot of circumstances.

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Neufeld means that if she has permission to invoice public medical insurance, her apply will eliminate charges.

This nurse practitioner appears to be working as a purely personal health-care supplier. If that’s the case, she’s most likely inside her rights.

Medical doctors are allowed to practise privately in the event that they divorce themselves totally from public fee for listed providers.

By mid-morning Monday, the well being division was trying into what Artwork of Caring has been doing because it opened store on July 18.

Some individuals is perhaps nervous about each the personal aspect and the shortage of direct reference to a physician. However, who is aware of, the UCP would possibly welcome a enterprise that takes stress off household docs.

We’re prone to see extra such nibbling across the edges of well being care. It’s a stress cooker with no launch valve on the high.

Don Braid’s column seems recurrently within the Herald

Twitter: @DonBraid

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PR agency Vera Causa finds inventive inspiration in new heritage constructing dwelling

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As older buildings proceed to be torn right down to make means for contemporary, extra up-to-date and livable constructions, its heartening to have the ability to admire some examples of earlier designs which can be nonetheless in good use immediately.

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A effective instance is the Devenish Constructing in Decrease Mount Royal on the nook of 17th Avenue and eightth Avenue S.W., in-built a singular Queen Anne architectural type. Accomplished in 1911 over 5 plenty of a slender block, it was designed as an opulent residence block constructed of deep pink brick and contrasting sandstone to accommodate Calgary’s burgeoning entrepreneurial and managerial class of residents.

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Within the Nineteen Eighties it was transformed into industrial house, and after buy by First Capital, which additionally owns a number of close by buildings, it was reworked and transformed into an city street-front retail and workplace constructing.

At present it’s a hive of high quality retailers and an eclectic combine of companies, all of them blissful to be in a constructing that exudes character.

Advertising and marketing and public relations company Vera Causa discovered the perfect spot in a nook of the third flooring of the Devenish for its inventive workers, oozing with character.

Companions Katie Phipps, director of consumer providers, and Chris Forrest, director of communications, had already moved thrice to accommodate their rising firm once they had the nice fortune to find the house that has proved to be match for employees and shoppers who get pleasure from visiting.

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Each previously with AdFarm, Phipps began Vera Causa as her consultancy agency in 2014, and in 2020 she and Forrest determined to staff up and construct a gaggle centered on technique knowledgeable by market intelligence and applied by the very best craftspeople of their disciplines. At present it employs a core in-house workers of eight and specialist contractors who present shoppers with “every little thing they want, nothing they don’t,” in inventive, digital, writing, media shopping for, PR and disaster communications.

Strolling the additional mile in understanding buyer wants and constructing sacred trusts has meant Vera Causa — true trigger -— has been in a position to work with an fascinating and rising variety of initiatives starting from $50,000 to $2 million, so long as there’s a match between consumer objectives and its areas of experience.

Heartland Polymers has confirmed to be an amazing match. The corporate, which is leveraging Western Canada’s considerable provide of propane to provide polypropylene from its Inter Pipeline’s $5-billion megaplant in central Alberta, contracted Vera Causa to develop its model and go-to-market plan.

One other thrilling relationship has been constructed between Vera Causa and Baystar, a Houston-based firm producing personalized polyethylene resins. The Calgary firm was recruited after a Heartland contact joined Baystar and really useful it to place some recent vitality into its advertising and marketing program.

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It introduced extra person-to-person into business-to-business dealings — daring new positioning of brand name, advertising and marketing and net design.

Phipps is now awaiting the go-ahead to accomplice with one other U.S. agency. Vestaron is a worldwide, nature-based, biotech agency headquartered in Durham, N.C., that already has her staff translating advertising and marketing supplies into eight languages.

Native shoppers embody offering EPCM agency Lauren Companies with advertising and marketing and PR, strategic consulting and PR for EDO Japan, and advertising and marketing and communications for Coulee Ridge Growth in Drugs Hat.

All good communications corporations are keen to assist non-profits, and Vera Causa is blissful to be related to ARBI (Affiliation for the Rehabilitation of the Mind Injured) serving to it to boost consciousness and revitalize the affiliation to fundraise in assist of latest tools, analysis and coaching packages.

Plenty of good inventive flows out of the revitalized Devenish, though Forrest quips {that a} “kerchunk-kerchunk” from the fashionable radiators could be a bit quirky however charming throughout a consumer phone dialog.

Notes:

Tak Pham has been appointed as curator of the Illingworth Kerr Gallery at Alberta College of the Arts. A recent artwork curator and author who has a list of scholarly writing and evaluations, Pham most just lately held the function of affiliate curator on the MacKenzie Artwork Gallery in Saskatoon.

David Parker seems repeatedly within the Herald. Learn his columns on-line at calgaryherald.com/enterprise. He may be reached at 403-830-4622 or by e mail at [email protected]

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Paul Brandt: The reality about human trafficking — it’s actual

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There’s been quite a lot of buzz about human trafficking lately.

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Sunday was World Day In opposition to Trafficking in Individuals.

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The blockbuster film The Sound of Freedom has defied field workplace expectations.

Final Friday, #NotInMyCity, Native Counselling Companies of Alberta and REACH Edmonton had been chosen and introduced by the Alberta authorities as neighborhood companion leads within the creation and setup of the brand new Alberta Workplace to Fight Trafficking in Individuals.

You’ll discover many voices and opinions about what human trafficking actually is and what it seems like — whether or not it’s actual or a conspiracy idea.

However it’s actual. I’ve met victims and survivors, each in Canada and abroad, from 5 years previous as much as senior residents whose lives have been affected by this crime.

Once I based #NotInMyCity six years in the past, our workforce found what many specialists throughout North America verify — not many individuals find out about or perceive this predominantly “hidden” crime.

Human trafficking could be troublesome to see at first, however as soon as you recognize what to search for, you understand it’s much more frequent than you assume.

Trafficking seems completely different in numerous components of the world, however it’s all the time an consequence of vulnerability.

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We shouldn’t low cost anybody’s expertise of how they had been trafficked just because it may not look that method in Canada. That might be disrespectful to that individual’s expertise. Their expertise is related and provides us perception into how traffickers function inside our communities, and what we are able to do to face up for victims and survivors.

At #NotInMyCity, we name this the “Survivor Lens.” When you look by means of that lens, you’ll by no means see the world the identical.

Human trafficking is just too vital a subject to let another person kind your opinion about it.

It will possibly appear complicated at first, however dig in. Think about that you simply’re studying about trafficking to learn considered one of your youngsters, or grandchildren, or somebody you recognize.

It’s a $150-billion-per-year business globally. There are extra modern-day slaves on the earth than ever in human historical past.

Ninety-three per cent of human trafficking victims in Canada are Canadian. There have been 552 reported incidents on this nation in 2021, 47 of them in Alberta.

The typical age of first being trafficked in Canada is between 13 and 14 years previous, although proof of even youthful ages exist. The best danger issue to being trafficked is solely being a lady.

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Sure teams of individuals are extra affected by trafficking. In Canada, Indigenous individuals make up a small quantity of Canada’s inhabitants, however have excessive numbers of human trafficking victims. New Canadians are additionally at excessive danger in Canada.

Human trafficking can have an effect on anybody, no matter age, gender, tradition or socioeconomic standing.

The difficulty has disgrace, stigma and confusion swirling throughout it. Traffickers prefer it that method — when individuals don’t study the reality about trafficking — as a result of it’s good for his or her enterprise. They make a median of $280,800 per sufferer per 12 months in Canada.

Many don’t even see themselves as victims as a result of their trafficker has tricked them into believing that they’re liked and cared for.

The crime takes many types, however the primary classes are intercourse, labour and organ trafficking.

The most effective definitions is from Durham Regional VSU Human Trafficking Disaster Intervention counsellor Karly Church, a Canadian survivor of home intercourse trafficking, who says: “There are specific components that have to be current for human trafficking to exist. These components are power, fraud, coercion and facilitation by a 3rd celebration or a gaggle of individuals. Any individual is behind the scenes doing it to you and benefiting from you. That’s the definition of human trafficking.”

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It’s not that complicated.

It’s somebody benefiting from one other individual’s distress and being profitable off of it.

Drug dependency, low self worth, housing insecurity, poor psychological well being, current immigration standing, pure disasters and battle are all inexperienced lights for traffickers. Every time individuals are struggling, traffickers go to work to attempt to earn a living off the ache. What’s worse is that there’s a marketplace for it.

With out demand for trafficking victims and the actions they’re compelled to do, it wouldn’t occur.

This can be a lot of knowledge and it could actually appear overwhelming, however there may be hope. There’s something you are able to do about it.

We hope you’ll develop into a #NotInMyCity ally, and maintain updated with our companions and the actions of the Alberta Workplace to Fight Trafficking in Individuals.

At #NotInMyCity, we’re grateful that this difficulty is being prioritized by authorities, front-line and personal business leaders in Alberta. There may be quite a lot of work to do, however we’re shifting in the fitting course.

I hope you’ll take the time to study the reality about trafficking. An important place to begin is our e-learning course at www.notinmycity.ca.

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It solely takes about 20 minutes, it’s free, and it will provide you with the instruments to assist make Canada a safer, freer, trafficking-free nation.

Paul Brandt is a Multi-Platinum recording artist, Canadian Nation Music Corridor of Fame member, philanthropist, and 21-year serial entrepreneur in music. He’s essentially the most awarded male Canadian nation music artist in historical past. Brandt is the past-chair of the premier-appointed Alberta Human Trafficking Activity Pressure and was one of many two main writers of the report The Studying Stone, lately submitted to the Authorities of Alberta with 19 suggestions to raised handle and suppress human trafficking in Alberta and Canada. Eighteen had been accepted with the nineteenth beneath overview, and $24 million has been dedicated to addressing trafficking in Alberta in response to the duty power suggestions.

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Evaluate: Sweltering warmth offset by cool vibes, wonderful songwriting on ultimate day of people fest

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It’s laborious to think about a greater tune to open a set at a contemporary folks pageant than Bear in mind the Mountain Mattress.

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On Sunday on the Calgary People Music Competition, Jeff Tweedy kicked off his spirited acoustic efficiency with the haunting ballad. His band, Wilco, recorded the tune as a part of the 2 Mermaid Avenue albums with British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg in 1998 and 2000. The venture had the acts present new music to lately unearthed lyrics from one of many unique political folkies, Woody Guthrie. The attractive melody, sung in Tweedy’s  plaintiff tenor, is wrapped round sentiments that Guthrie wrote greater than 50 years in the past. However they nonetheless sound downright prescient, with the people singer providing a mournful, green-leaning poem concerning the energy of nature and man’s curious and anxiety-filled need to overcome it.

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It at all times appeared like a pleasant combine between the outdated and the brand new, significantly since Tweedy was regarded on the time as one of many newer abilities pushing Americana, folks and roots music to courageous new frontiers. Whereas folks fest organizers have lengthy harassed the concept the 44-year-old celebration of recent music  is a “folks pageant” in identify solely, it was nonetheless good to see Tweedy’s outstanding set rejoice 33 years of revolutionary songwriting.

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Dominique Fils-Aime
Dominique Fils-Aime performs on the Calgary People Music Competition in Calgary on Sunday, July 30, 2023. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photograph by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

Whereas Mom Nature was courteous sufficient to place off that thunder storm that had been forecast till the pageant wrapped, Prince’s Island Park was swelteringly scorching on Sunday, which most likely solely added to the appreciation for the dulcet tones on the principle stage, which included Montreal soul/R&B  singer Dominique Fils-Aime, Nashville’s indie-country artist Sierra Ferrell, Tweedy and indie-soul act Bahamas.

However, as at all times, the motion began a lot earlier. Previous to the main-stage lineup, these venturing off the grounds to the free stage in “Stage 1” in Eau Claire might need been fortunate sufficient to witness singer-songwriter Artwork Bergmann’s mid-afternoon efficiency. Decked out in a shiny silver swimsuit and backed by an all-local band — together with guitarist-producer Russell Broom, drummer Ribsy Ludwig and Sydney and Shaye Zadravec, on bass, guitar and backup vocals — Bergmann performed an brisk set that included new materials from an upcoming album.

Fils-Aime, making a return to the people fest stage after taking part in the Summer time Serenade in 2021, kicked off the principle stage festivities with a seamlessly flowing set that borrowed closely from her bold trilogy of albums from 2018 to 2021, which got down to hint the historical past of Black music. Being first on the principle stage is a tall order for anybody, however Fils-Aime crammed her set with pleasure and craft and exquisite instrumental outros. She started the set with the beautiful openers We Are Gentle and Birds earlier than providing the slow-building Thoughts Made up and mesmerizing The place There may be Smoke. Even when singing the scathing lyrics of Gun Burial (“Reality that you simply’d burn down Paradise within the blink of a random eye,
Makes me marvel what’s left for Hell to seem like,”) Fils-Aime maintained a way of exuberance, culminating with the galloping soul-pop gem Develop Mama Develop.

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Sierra Ferrell
Sierra Ferrell performs on the Calgary People Music Competition in Calgary on Sunday, July 30, 2023. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photograph by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

Ferrell was backed by a principally acoustic three-piece — there have been a couple of flurries of blazing electrical guitar — that wore matching pink shirts. It gave the act the texture of an old-school nation radio present. Ferrell is at house mining the wealthy traditions of nation and roots music, whether or not it’s her Dolly Parton-esque vocals on the bluegrass-fuelled I’d Do It Once more,  Tex-Mex leanings of Far Away Throughout the Sea or her superbly sung tackle John Anderson’s Years. An as-yet unreleased new tune turned a three-fiddle stomper and unlikely singalong, however the spotlight might have been Ferrell’s solo efficiency of her old-timey ballad Rosemary.

“That is all I obtained,” mentioned Jeff Tweedy,  holding up his acoustic guitar partway by his set Sunday evening. After all, that wasn’t utterly correct, He additionally had a treasure trove of fabric to attract upon relationship again to the early Nineties. That included every part from New Madrid, a 1993 tune from his pre-Wilco act Uncle Tupelo, to choices from Wilco’s 2022 back-to-their-roots double album, Merciless Nation. It’s a testomony to Tweedy’s craft that songs akin to  I Am Making an attempt to Break Your Coronary heart, the mercurial opener of the 2002 traditional Yankee Resort Foxtrot, work simply in addition to stripped-down acoustic numbers. Tweedy provided a few of Wilco’s finest songs, together with Hummingbird,Jesus, And many others. and I’m The Man Who Loves You but in addition added some relative obscurities akin to One on One, from the aforementioned Mermaid Avenue periods, and a humorous and as-yet unreleased messy ode to rock ‘n’ roll referred to as Lou Reed Was My Babysitter.

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Bahamas
Bahamas performs on the Calgary People Music Competition in Calgary on Sunday, July 30, 2023. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photograph by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

The Bahamas, a venture led by guitarist and former Feist sideman Afie Jurvanen, are pageant favourites, having closed down the present in 2018 with a equally chill Sunday set.  Jurvanen’s tunes and supply are actually tasteful, maybe to a fault. After Tweedy’s set — I do know, hardly a good comparability — the songs sounded agreeable if not at all times utterly enthralling. However, that they had the gang swaying and nodding alongside and numbers such because the sleight however upbeat You Caught Me Pondering and pleasantly soulful I Received You Babe have been performed with impeccable craft. As in 2018, the spotlight was the  guitar interaction between Jurvanen and Christie Bougie.

The compulsory love-in on the finish of the ultimate evening, the place a lot of the remaining musicians and folk-fest officers take to the stage to sing a Canadian traditional, was a little bit extra subdued than ordinary with Bahamas main the gang in a fragile model of the Neil Younger ballad Considered one of These Days. However, given the exhausting warmth all day, the vibe didn’t appear utterly misplaced.

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Calgary folks fest again with full power; not a sell-out, however ticket gross sales exceed expectations this yr

Eclectic lineup that includes Emmylou Harris, Jeff Tweedy and Tanya Tucker helped make Calgary People Music Competition successful

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When Calgary People Music Competition creative director Kerry Clarke first booked Oakland, Calif., artist Improbable Negrito this yr, he was initially going to return as a solo acoustic act.

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Clarke, who has been making an attempt to e-book the energetic blues-soul-rock performer for 5 or extra years and figures Negrito — born Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz — could have been thrown off by the time period “folks.” Fortunately, he modified his thoughts and on Saturday evening and introduced his top-notch band to offer one of many weekend’s most electrifying units on the principle stage.

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Even after 40-plus years, the antiquated concept that the annual competition on Prince’s Island Park is solely devoted to folks music relatively than the eclectic smorgasbord of hip-hop, world music, rock, punk, quasi-classical and all shades of roots music can generally stick. After all, acoustic music stays an enormous a part of the competition. A few of the greater highlights supplied scaled-back stage displays, together with Hurray for the Riff Raff on Friday afternoon and Kenya’s Ondara on Saturday. Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy was additionally scheduled to play the principle stage by himself on Sunday night.

However the world “folks” has a deeper which means than style.

“I hope extra individuals preserve realizing that it’s a folks competition which implies that it’s a vibe, it’s egalitarian,” Clarke says. “You may uncover music, but it surely’s not strictly a hippie, folk-fest, birkenstock, guitar-playing … It’s for everyone.”

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Numerous musical acts headline competition

Regardless of the case, as of press time the people fest had been successful. Clarke estimates that by the point Sunday wrapped, there would have been 55,000 individuals on the island over the 4 days. Saturday was the one day that was offered out, however the different days had been at roughly 85 per cent capability, Clarke stated. Which means ticket gross sales would earn greater than $100,000 past what had been budgeted for in 2023.

A part of that was little doubt as a result of number of performers. Not like final yr when two of the larger acts — Australia’s Courtney Barnett and Texas band Black Pumas — cancelled, as of Sunday there had been no cancellations.

Headliners included everybody from hip-hop veterans Digable Planets and folk-country icon Emmylou Harris on Thursday, nation famous person Tanya Tucker and Chicago singer-songwriter Andrew Chicken on Friday, Improbable Negrito and east-coast rocker Matt Mays on Saturday and Tweedy and Nova Scotia’s Bahamas on Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, the competition had its regular mix of fascinating, far-flung artists sharing riffs and house on workshop phases.

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Calgary Folk Music Festival
Folks on the Calgary People Music Competition on Prince’s Island Park in Calgary on Saturday, July 29, 2023. Photograph by Heather Chapin /jpg

Saturday tends to do effectively, whatever the programming, Clarke says. Audiences have simply come to count on a high-octane night.

“I feel (Improbable Negrito) actually stunned individuals,” she says. “I don’t assume most of the viewers knew him earlier than. I’ve been making an attempt to get him for 5 years.”

The stability after all is to deliver again favourites whereas providing a lineup that features new discoveries. The one repeat from final yr was Nashville’s The Wooden Brothers. Montreal singer Dominique Fils-Aime performed the scaled-back “Summer time Serenades” competition in 2021 when the world was nonetheless rising from the pandemic however supplied such a shocking set that Clarke invited her again this yr.

“We strive to not repeat ourselves an excessive amount of,” Clarke says. “To have a repeat individual after 5 or seven years is even loads. Typically individuals will say. ‘I haven’t performed for seven years!’ ”

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‘Prepared’ native acts play at folks fest

As all the time, this yr’s lineup supplied a few of Calgary and space’s prime bands. Viewers may soak up Carter Felker, Ghostkeeper, The Lovebullies, Florida BC, Kyle McKearney, Fortunate Sonne, Lethbridge’s Ryland Moranz and hip-hop act Tea Fannie. The native spots are extremely coveted, after all, however Clarke says they solely e-book these which can be prepared for the massive stage.

“Some individuals simply aren’t able to play within the huge pond with individuals and collaborate,” Clarke says. “Some native artists are good however in my estimation aren’t prepared. We’re additionally searching for people who find themselves actually making an attempt to maneuver their careers ahead and tour. I’m additionally searching for artists who’ve put out current albums which can be actually making an attempt to get out of Dodge and we will actually give them that further push.”

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Greatest B.C. patios to sip and savour this summer season

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Sitting outside on a patio, sipping one thing scrumptious, is likely one of the biggest pleasures of wine nation touring. For these few moments, you possibly can fully escape, gaze on the vineyards and the sky and easily take pleasure in what makes the area magical.

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And winter? It appears about 1,000,000 years away.

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Listed below are some locations to think about visiting (and wines to think about ingesting) subsequent time you’re in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

Covert Farms Household Property

(covertfarms.ca)

Situated close to Oliver, B.C., Covert Farms has a relaxed, informal vibe that extends to the patio, the place households with younger youngsters are as welcome as newlyweds. In truth, there’s a log barn on website for weddings and particular occasions.

On the weekend, whereas dad and mom have their very own tasting enjoyable, youngsters can meet a llama, a pot-belly pig, chickens and extra on a mini tour of the farm ($20 per individual, together with cheese and crackers), or strive a meat and cheese tasting with juice made by native natural farmers.

Wine to strive: I all the time choose up a bottle of the Amicitia ($27), an natural Bordeaux-style pink mix that’s scrumptious with grilled lamb kebabs. And on a sizzling day, the Covert Farms rosé ($22.50) is extra-refreshing.

Dirty Laundry
Soiled Laundry Winery Patio.  Photograph by Hermann Teichtmeister /jpg

Soiled Laundry Winery

(dirtylaundry.ca)

Situated close to Summerland, Soiled Laundry’s enjoyable vibe begins with the vineyard identify — and doesn’t actually finish. The massive patio has good shade for warm days, and there’s tons to take a look at round right here, together with wood-fired pizza and a brewery, in case wine’s not your factor.

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And in the event you don’t need to depart, ask concerning the Parlour Home availability. It sleeps as much as eight and, sure, there’s a patio with beautiful views, too.

Wine to strive: The brand new Soiled Laundry glowing rosé ($24) is one severely quaffable fizz, with zingy melon and strawberry flavours.

District Wine Village
District Wine Village within the Okanagan, Courtesy, Jon Adrian Photograph by Jon Adrian /Adrian Photographers

District Wine Village

(districtwinevillage.com)

With 13 wineries, a distillery and a restaurant all inside strolling distance, you’ll discover lots to see and do at District Wine Village close to Oliver, B.C. Attempt one patio or strive all of them. Wineries embody Eau Vivre, Time Household of Wines, Nk’Mip Cellars and extra.

There’s additionally wheelchair parking, ramp entry from the car parking zone to the village, and wheelchair entry between patios, in case you’re needing it.

Wine to strive: Attempt the Nk’Mip Winemaker’s Rose ($26) on the patio and convey residence a bottle of the Nk’Mip Winemaker’s Talon ($33) for the cellar.

Hester Creek
Hester Creek Terrafina patio. Courtesy, Hester Creek Property Vineyard jpg

Hester Creek Property Vineyard

(hestercreek.com)

Sit on the Terrafina restaurant patio at nightfall and also you’ll really feel such as you’re in Tuscany, surrounded by the nice and cozy night air, the golden mild and, in fact, the gorgeous wine and meals, made with regionally grown elements.

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It’s fantastic for a romantic date night time or a comfy spot to meet up with associates. Make a reservation prematurely, although, as this place books up quick.

For those who want extra causes to go to, right here’s one: Nice Northwest Wine Journal named Hester Creek the B.C. Vineyard of the Yr in 2023.

Wine to strive: The Hester Creek Pinot Gris ($19) is fruity and juicy and so refreshing on a sizzling day, however choose up a bottle of The Decide ($50), a giant, daring pink mix that can heat you up subsequent winter.

Quails Gate
Quails Gate Vineyard patio. jpg

Quails’ Gate Property Vineyard

(www.quailsgate.com)

Elegant, elegant and delightful, the Quails’ Gate restaurant patio is the place to take the in-laws or take pleasure in a romantic sundown dinner, however youngsters are welcome, too. There’s additionally a contented hour menu, with small plates that pair fantastically with the wines.

Talking of wines, not like most wineries within the area, the Quails’ Gate restaurant additionally has wines from France, Italy and the U.S., in case you’re desirous to do some comparisons.

You probably have the funds and plan far sufficient prematurely, you can too keep on the vineyard, on the secluded Lake Home property, which sleeps as much as 14, or The

Nest, a three-bedroom cabin. Then you possibly can take pleasure in your wine by yourself patio, on the shores of Okanagan Lake simply outdoors of Kelowna.

Wine to strive: I by no means depart with out selecting up at the very least one bottle of the Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir ($35.) Classic after classic, it’s excellent.

Shelley Boettcher is a Calgary-based meals and wine author. Discover her on Instagram @shelleyboettcher.

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Varcoe: TC Power makes one other daring transfer, however can it win over a skeptical market?

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First got here the $5.2-billion sale of a giant stake in its U.S. pure fuel pipeline enterprise.

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Then got here blockbuster information that TC Power was spinning off its oil pipelines — together with the Keystone system — into a brand new publicly listed firm.

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“Nicely, it’s been a busy week,” TC chief govt Francois Poirier declared Friday to open the corporate’s second-quarter earnings name.

“Separating into two companies, with separate thoughts and administration, every with a robust stability sheet and their very own foreign money, will enable us to pursue extra development for the good thing about our shareholders than we might in the present day.”

TC, which has been grappling with a stagnant share value and aiming to decrease its debt — asserting plans final yr to dump $5 billion of property — made good on that pledge this week, after which went one step additional.

On Monday, it introduced the sale to World Infrastructure Companions of a 40 per cent stake in its Columbia Fuel and Columbia Gulf Transmissions methods for $5.2 billion. It bought Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group for US$13 billion — together with $2.8 billion debt — in 2016 underneath former CEO Russ Girling.

Late Thursday, TC Power revealed that its liquids pipeline property can be spun off into a brand new firm, to be led by govt vice-president Bevin Wirzba, and headquartered in Calgary.

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(TC Power had greater than 7,400 workers on the finish of final yr, together with 2,859 in Calgary; it’s not but identified what number of will shift to the brand new enterprise.)

Buyers in TC Power will obtain shares within the new entity. A shareholder vote is predicted in mid-2024, with the spinoff finalized within the second half of subsequent yr.

As soon as full, TC Power will proceed working its mammoth pure fuel infrastructure community in North America — together with the Nova Fuel Transmission Line (NGTL) in Western Canada, the under-construction Coastal GasLink pipeline and Columbia — together with its energy unit and vitality options enterprise.

TC will proceed to be led by Poirier, who took over from Girling in 2021.

The liquids firm, but to be formally named, will maintain 4,900 kilometres of oil pipelines, together with the Keystone and Marketlink community, in addition to the Grand Rapids and White Spruce pipelines in Alberta.

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The brand new firm could have about $8 billion of senior and subordinated debt, with proceeds used to repay debt at TC Power.

However will TC’s transfer win the hearts and minds of buyers?

(An analogous transfer was made when Encana Corp., because it was then identified, determined in 2008 to spin off the corporate’s oil enterprise into Cenovus Power.)

In TC’s case, it has been grappling with the development of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which is properly over its authentic finances. In February, it stated prices had risen to $14.5 billion — building is now 91 per cent achieved and it’s slated to be mechanically accomplished by yr’s finish.

TC Power was additionally caught up within the noise surrounding the Keystone XL enlargement, which dragged on for years. It was finally nixed by the Biden administration within the U.S., even after building had began.

On Friday, TC Power’s share value dropped $2.05 to shut at $45.25 on the Toronto Inventory Trade, and has fallen by a 3rd prior to now 12 months.

“No one anticipated it and it’s monetary engineering at its worst as a result of we are able to’t see the profit,” stated Laura Lau, chief funding officer with Brompton Group, which has beforehand owned TC shares.

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“In the event that they’re making an attempt to get a better valuation, I’m not satisfied they’re going to get it.”

Others embraced the rationale, pointing to the slower future development anticipated for liquids pipelines in contrast with TC Power’s fuel and energy enterprise — together with areas resembling pumped hydro and nuclear — together with the totally different ESG profiles between oil and fuel/energy infrastructure.

“They need to actually spotlight the extra enticing development prospects, versus being weighed down by the oil enterprise . . . and it will assist them decrease their leverage at TC Power,” Morningstar analyst Stephen Ellis stated in an interview.

“With the ability to separate these two, I believe it’s a plus.”

The TC Energy building
The afternoon solar shines by the sculpture “Weaving Fence and Horn” outdoors the TC Power constructing in downtown Calgary on Jan. 9. Gavin Younger/Postmedia

The brand new spinoff entity had EBITDA (earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes, depreciation and amortization) final yr of $1.4 billion, in contrast with $8.5 billion within the fuel/energy enterprise.

“Is that transformational? Perhaps not the phrase I might choose,” Ellis added. “Is it a sexy, incremental enchancment to the enterprise that I believe is considerate, about making an attempt to create some shareholder worth? Sure”

TC Power, previously referred to as TransCanada, has been no stranger to creating daring strikes, such because the acquisition of Columbia, its blockbuster merger with Nova Corp. in 1998, its try and construct Keystone XL or Power East, which was cancelled in October 2017.

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Former TransCanada CEO Hal Kvisle, who ran the corporate when it first constructed the Keystone Pipeline, stated it made sense for the corporate to develop an oil pipeline platform 20 years in the past, later underscored by submitting its purposes for Keystone XL.

“However I can’t blame my successors for rethinking all that, given the challenges that they confronted in making an attempt to get Keystone XL accredited . . . so I can see that possibly the oil pipeline development story isn’t fairly as interesting,” stated Kvisle, who retired in 2010.

“I do know they’re getting beat up somewhat bit available in the market proper now. However I nonetheless suppose it’s a hell of an enterprise and I’m not promoting my shares.”

However TC Power has some work to do to win over the market.

In a word, analyst Ben Pham of BMO Capital Market stated Friday that he beforehand anticipated TC’s valuation to rise on asset gross sales, by paying down debt and the easing of issues surrounding Coastal GasLink.

“Now, we consider share efficiency can be pushed by perceived worth of the 2 separate entities, and whereas (pure) Fuel/Energy might commerce at a wholesome valuation, we’re uncertain Liquids will,” he wrote.

“As such, we’re not but satisfied the separation will add worth. As a substitute, we consider it can detract for now.”

As Poirier confused on his name, each companies have enormous development potential sooner or later as vitality consumption will increase.

Now, he has to show it.

Chris Varcoe is a Calgary Herald columnist.

[email protected]

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Blackfest set to have a good time range and excellence of Calgary's Black neighborhood this weekend

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Calgary’s Black neighborhood will have a good time range and excellence on the second annual Blackfest this Saturday on the Hillhurst Sunnyside Group Affiliation.

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Organizers with the Black Inclusion Affiliation say the free occasion is a part of their mandate to showcase and assist Calgary’s Black diaspora via meals, artwork leisure and different actions, in what they name a celebration of unity in range.

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“We’re highlighting Black artists, musicians, distributors and all kinds of Black-owned companies to foster financial prosperity and to let all of this expertise and experience shine,” mentioned Ganiyat Sadiq, co-founder and co-executive officer of the Black Inclusion Affiliation.

Fashionable distributors will embody The Brdge, an area catering service identified for worldwide delicacies, serving quite a lot of Nigerian dishes.

Different distinctive companies will embody Achihera, providing boutique style and equipment, Sudanese Goddess, a psychic medium for non secular therapeutic, and Soul Remedy, providing counselling periods to assist psychological well being.

Performers embody saxophone participant Fejiro, singer Peace Etaje and poet Pleasure Idowu. Arts, crafts and different actions will even be provided for teenagers.

Officers welcomed greater than 500 folks final yr, and hope to get no less than 200 extra this yr.

Festivities run from midday till 6 p.m. unfold all through the out of doors inexperienced areas of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Group Affiliation, at 1320 fifth Ave. N.W.