Thursday, December 3

It Has Been Too Long

As you may already be aware, the politics have changed drastically in Alberta since 2013. If you were to tell me in 2013 that there would be an NDP government in office in Alberta, I would have told you to get your head examined.

Well guess what, the NDP did win back in May. The jury is still out, but my feelings are that the honeymoon is going to be over very soon.

So far, Rachel Notley, our illustrious premier, has decided to raise corporate and personal taxes. The flat rate of 10% is now 12%. I would not have an issue with that, but I fear for the notorious reputation of the NDP which is spend spend spend. It doesn't help that our goose that lays the golden egg, the energy industry, is hurting...bad. This is not the downturn of 2008, this is more like the crash when the NEP came to town. Over 35000 Albertans have lost their jobs so far with the latest developments in the oil and gas sector. The price of oil closed yesterday under $40/barrel.

Now they (the NDP government) are talking about closing down the coal plants for cleaner greener energy. Apparently Canada is a naughty boy in the climate change game, even though our CO2 emissions are negligible compared to the USA, China and India. Doesn't help that Notley referred to Alberta as the 'embarrassing cousin'.

The Keystone pipeline was kaiboshed. Apparently the USA thinks its a better idea to buy and ship oil across the ocean from despotic, tyrannical dictators in the Middle East who have appalling human rights records, than to buy it from their friendly neighbour to the north who has fair wages, high environmental controls and lots of oil. *If you call it the tar sands, you are showing ignorance. The correct term is oil sands and the material that is mined is called bitumen. And another thing? All of those photos that environmentalists love to post showing plumes of white smoke coming out of chimneys? Well that is steam, from the Steam Assisted Gravity Drilling, that separates the oil from the sand.

And do you know who is going to benefit the most from the rejection of the Keystone pipeline? Warren Buffet. He owns a major stake in the railroad, which will be the only way (right now) to get our landlocked oil to tide water. Need I say that pipelines are safer to transport oil than railcars and they leave a smaller carbon footprint than rail and truck? You still have a doubt? I have two words for you- Lac Megantic.

My city, Calgary, is hurting. There is a lot of fear. Its close to Christmas and it will not be a very Merry one at that. Domestic violence has spiked, yet the agencies who assist those in need are in desperate need themselves. Trips to the Food Bank are becoming more common. Crime is rising with car prowling and house breakins becoming commonplace.

Saturday, February 16

Art and Culture Update

I had the opportunity to attend the annual Schmancy event benefiting the Glenbow Museum here in Calgary. Any kid who has attended school in Calgary has done the field trip to the Glenbow, as it is home to a massive collection of Western and First Nations artifacts that tell the story of how the West was settled. The Glenbow is a gem in the midst of the outdated buildings and convention centre on the edge of downtown Calgary.

Calgary is very proud of its philanthropic side and the event benefiting the museum was fancy and schmancy! It was nice to see the movers and shakers of Calgary dressed in their finest and the Canarioca actually pulled out her vintage fur stole for the evening. The special guest of the evening was the host of the show, 'Tonight with George Stroumbouloupoulis' on CBC. I got to meet and chat with him, and I asked about how he is able to interview people with such ease. He told me that he doesn't have an agenda and he listens! My kind of guy.

The Glenbow will be showing the film 'Bill Cunningham New York" on February 22. I am looking forward to seeing it as Mr. Cunningham is an icon in the street fashion photography world, and a predecessor of all of the street photographers that buzz around outside the tents during Fashion Week.This film is a must see.

Last night I attended the opening of MUSE, a collaboration of photos from local photographers here in Calgary. I was very impressed with the photos of Colin Way. He had a series of moody black and whites portraits, that somehow at the last minute would pop with a hint of colour. His video was looping on a large white wall overhead and the images of the models were beautiful. Local legend Gerard Yunker had a great set of pictures that are truly worthy of a spread in W magazine including a picture that would be a great cover shot. Simple and graphic with a great palette of colour. It was the other highlight of the night. Jason Eng had a set of photos that were sharp and crisp, beautiful lighting and contrast.

Its nice to see that there are talented photographers here in Calgary and I am looking forward to working with all of them in the near future.

Wednesday, January 9

Men In Skirts

Firstly I want to thank Metro newspaper here in Calgary for mentioning me in their article that talks about Calgary born models that have made a name for themselves in the fashion industry. It is nice to get some recognition in my hometown.

Every morning, while I am drinking my coffee, I peruse the online newspapers and magazines from around the world. Today I came across a photo from London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013 Mens Collections. The male model was wearing a tutu! In the past Jean Paul Gaultier has shown men in skirts (with his great sense of tongue-in-cheek humour), Marc Jacobs has attempted it too (and failed miserably in my opinion) and last but not least, the future Mr. Kim Kardashian, Kanye West wore some horrific leather sarong thing at the Sandy Benefit Concert just a few weeks ago.

Don't get me wrong. It takes a lot of chutzpah for a man to wear a skirt. The Scots have been doing it for centuries and I do admit there is nothing sexier than a kilt and a Scottish brogue.

Polynesian men have been wearing sarongs for centuries as well and they are no less manly.

Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2013
JW Anderson FW 2013