Showing posts from July, 2013

High River Reality

In the rush to brand the flood disaster in southern Alberta, devise slogans, whip up Twitter momentum, come up with T-shirts, and then move on to the Stampede, High River has been forgotten.

No, not completely forgotten, but certainly not a beneficiary of the buzz that helped neighbourhoods in Calgary bail out, mop up and make waves nationally. 
High River is a disaster. For sure, the Highwood routinely floods. And if it's true, as was explained to me by locals, that the riverbed becomes a troublesome, undredged deposit of silt that regularly pushes water over the banks, there are questions to be answered. But there are also basements to be pumped dry, mould to be outrun, drywall to be crowbarred, and mud, mud, and mud that is almost alive to be moved. 
Along with some mud-non-averse colleagues from ATB Financial, I went down to High River yesterday to help. We were welcomed into the waterlogged homes of Sandy and Craig. 
On the walk there we saw a section of railway line twisted…

Paul Lorieau, RIP

Paul Lorieau, the tenor who could make you forget there was a faceoff only a minute or so away, has died, and Edmonton today is full of stories and memories of the anthemic voice for decades of the Edmonton Oilers.

In the Oilers' 2006 Stanley Cup run, Lorieau left us spellbound with his raised microphone, an invitation to the fans, so rousingly accepted, to sing the national anthem together.

Think about that for just a second. The trained voice, the student of voice, the artist with the camera trained on him freely chooses silence, so that the full-throated, beer-holstered hockey throng could experience the joy of singing themselves into a northeast Edmonton night.

Now, we contemplate the meaning of the silence choosing Paul Lorieau.

Countless times on TV and many times in person in the Coliseum I experienced Lorieau's singing O Canada. Once, I met him.

It was on a small rink that a band of friends at CTV Edmonton (Hoop, Raymo, Dub, Kobes)  watered into being on a lovely piec…