Last September, the Montreal Shaw Direct Customer Care Centre
decided to put their shoulder to the wheel and get involved with some
very special fundraising.
St-Viateur Bagel & Café on Monkland St. held an event called Back-to-school Bagel-O-Thon,
in collaboration with the Generations Foundation organization. On
September 18, donators could order one dozen bagels and pick them up
between 6am and 10am. To help grow the success of the event, Montreal’s
Shaw Direct team ordered a total of 175 dozen bagels! The organizers
were delighted with their participation and all proceeds went to the
About Generations Foundation: They directly help young children in
the community. Every day, thousands of students go to school with empty
stomachs because their parents do not have sufficient resources to
provide them with three meals a day. Experience shows us that when
children are supported by balanced meals and snacks, they perform better
in class and achieve better results. It is also a well-known fact that
eating in the morning is essential, particularly for children and
The Generations Foundation offers breakfasts, snacks and hot meals to
more than 7,700 students in 96 schools and learning centers. It also
introduced a feeding program to help children in becoming independent
and autonomous regarding nutrition. Cooking classes and programs were
set up so that older students could help younger ones. The difference
Generations Foundation makes in the lives of these young people is
remarkable and undeniable.
Generations Foundation receives no government aid and requires no
cost from the children or their parents. Thanks to the generosity of
caring people who support the Generations Foundation, they can continue
to help these young people.
You can find more information about the Foundations Generations here.
The new guide interface is more intuitive, delivering an
industry-leading customer experience. The HD Guide user interface offers
many improvements when compared to the SD Guide, including: faster
navigation, redesigned menus to ensure optimal usability and enhanced
shortcuts/preference functionality. The HD Guide is available for 6XX
series receivers only. Legacy receivers (including 5XX HD receivers)
will not be updated.
With the launch of HD Guide, two features on the 6XX series receiver have been retired:
Interactive Weather Application.
Instant Pay-Per-View (IPPV) ordering: the IPPV order feature has
been removed from the 6XX series. The phone line will remain for caller
ID only. IPPV will continue to be available on all legacy receivers.
There are six new major features introduced with the HD Guide:
Three different font sizes are available, controlling the number of
rows of data in the guide, plus two different program colouring options.
These settings can be changed at any time by pressing the following:
Options // Preferences // User Settings & Appearance.
2. MiniTune & MiniPlay
MiniTune: You can press the ‘B’ button from the guide to immediately
tune the video window to the selected channel, while maintaining your
current position in the menu.
MiniPlay: For customers with an HDPVR 630, MiniPlay functions the
same way as MiniTune, but within your list of recorded programs. You can
press ‘B’ to begin playback of the selected program in the video
window, while maintaining your current position in the PVR list.
3. PPV Store
A new way of browsing available PPV movies! Selecting ‘PPV Search’ from the Pay-Per-View (PPV) menu bar allows you to:
Narrow results by genre.
Show clear ordering instructions and ID above the movie description.
Be notified that the purchase has been successful once it’s been ordered through the IVR.
Purchased program are identified by a checkmark in the guide, PPV Store, and ‘Upcoming Airings’ screens.
4. Smart PVR Technology
Our HDPVR has an overlooked feature: the ability to look for the
episode on multiple channels. This feature, in conjunction with the fact
that Shaw Direct carries channels from every Canadian time zone,
effectively eliminates recording conflicts.
The HDPVR allows you to record from ‘HD only’, ‘SD only’, or ‘All channels’, rather than a single channel.
Descriptive information written in user-friendly language.
You can also edit your recording preferences by pressing ‘Enter’ on the program and selecting the new menu option.
When customizing a particular recording event, you can now access a
‘More Channels’ selector to change the channel you want the recording to
take place on.
5. Multi-User and Single User Modes
Multi-User Mode: Up to eight users can have their own preferences
applied at login, in addition to parentally-defined permissions, locks,
The current profile can be changed at any time by pressing the FAV button on the remote. Each profile can have a unique PIN.
Users can be copied to a USB key for transfer to another satellite receiver.
Parental restrictions that can be customized for each user include:
Access to Adult content
Ability to order free VOD titles
Daily VOD purchase limit ($ value)
PVR Permissions (ability to schedule new recordings, delete existing recordings, etc.)
Preferences that can be customized for each user include:
Onscreen and audio language
Closed Captions display and settings
Font size and program colouring style
Unsubscribed channels in Guide (show or hide)
Caller ID notifications (not available on the HDDSR 600)
Automatic prompt to delete recordings
Single User Mode: It uses the same approach as before, wherein a
single set of restrictions is applied consistently and unlocked
individually on an ad-hoc basis. While Multi-User mode generally does
not present a PIN challenge upon encountering locked content,
Single-User mode does.
When migrating from SD Guide with the Parental Controls enabled, you will be placed into this mode by default.
You can switch between Single and Multi-User modes whenever you want. If set, a PIN is required to make this change.
6. Notification Bar
The Notification Bar replaces the ‘Alert’ (!) icon used in the SD
Guide and will notify you of Caller ID, PPV purchases, reminders or
auto-tunes, dual recordings, and more. It also displays the signal
strength, Internet connectivity status (for VOD), HDD space (HDPVR only)
and number of active reminders.
Press the ‘Down’ arrow while watching TV to show the notification bar.
The A, B and C buttons on the remote control serve as shortcuts in a number of different windows – try them out!
New ways to search for content: Keyword Search and Category Search. Press Menu // Search to see the different categories.
Ah, the Calgary Stampede – When the
population of Calgary increases by almost a million people for ten days
of cowboy hats, deep-fried food and twangy country music.
Toted as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on
Earth,’ the Calgary Stampede does not disappoint. Held on the Stampede
Grounds for 102 years, there are so many things to see and do. People
come from literally all corners of the map to participate. Two of our
favourite reasons to keep coming back: The Rodeo and The Midway (food and fast rides. What could go wrong?)
The temperature almost every day we went
surpassed 30 degrees Celsius with only a few clouds to give us a
well-wished break from the searing torment of the sun. If you don’t have
something that closely-resembles sun stroke by the end of the day
you’re not stampeding properly.
The Stampede always kicks off with a
monstrous parade that blocks off most of downtown for hours. We got wise
and went down to the parade route the night before to set (read, tape) chairs down in order to get front-row seats, went home for some excited ‘squee’s’
and a quick sleep before returning at 5:30 the next morning to defend
our turf. The parade didn’t start for another four hours – Queue over-caffeination and screaming children.
When the parade did start, we had a
really good time. Took lots of amazing pictures and got to wave at
William Shatner, the Parade Marshall. You can check out the entire
parade album on our Facebook Page.
Our main goal of visiting the grounds was to try all the wicked new food that had been posted on the Calgary Stampede website for
months prior. We saddled up and headed down to the grounds. You can
always tell when Stampede as the ratio of cowboy hats and boots goes up
wherever you look – trains become more difficult to board and suddenly
the view for shorter people like me turns into a sea of pressed felt and
There are so, so many things to do at the
Calgary Stampede. I’ll be concentrating on food for this blog post.
Sorry if you were looking for reviews on the rodeo and Super Dogs, but
I’m sure there are lots of other blogs out there for you to imbibe.
Let’s get to it!
Red Velvet Mini Donughts
I was really
excited to try these little wonders. Everyone who we had talked to
prior exclaimed how rich and dense they were. I’m a fan of true Waldorf
red velvet cake which, due to food rationing during World War II, was
coloured with boiled beet juices and was extremely moist and sticky.
These were neither moist nor sticky. We
were handed a stick of doughnuts that looked suspiciously like regular
mini-doughnuts and were assured ‘the red was inside’. Nope. No red. More
like a light-tinted rose on the insides of them. The flavour: Less than
that of a regular mini-doughnut with the only saving grace being the
cream-cheese frosting they had dunked the entire stack into before we
We still ate all of them. Why waste food?
Ranking: 1 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Disappointing reality after reviews, no colour
What could go wrong? Oh, right –
Everything. These looked and smelled delicious upon receiving them.
Battered lightly with some pieces of that mystery green vegetable you
find in instant soup broth. Things were going great until we took the
Did they mistake Cheezies for Styrofoam
peanuts? These were horrible! I tried eating the breading from around
the now rock-hard remains but the ‘cheeze’ in the Cheezie had melted,
gone nuclear and created some sort of biome inside of the
battered-atmosphere. It was like lighting an aerosol can of cheese on
fire and devouring what’s left (don’t try this at home). At least the fried bits of dough on the bottom were tasty.
Ranking: 1 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Alien environment contained by breading, styrofoam-like squeaking on my teeth
Deep-Fried Cookie Dough
I was so happy to find the booth selling
deep-fried cookie dough! Delicious little balls of sweet goodness dusted
with confectioner’s sugar… until you bit into it and realized there was
a molten mass that resembled a microwaved tube of Keebler Elves. The
dough collapsed, my mouth, face and shirt were flooded with goo of all
shades of brown and my only reaction was to cough powdered sugar all
over everyone within a ten-foot radius. The dough was sweet and
resembled a chocolate-chip cookie but the fact that the treat drooled
all over the place after the breading was broken was a total ‘nope’ for
Ranking: 1 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Brown goo, a new take on the ‘cinnamon challenge’ with confectioner’s sugar
Scorpion, Mealworm & Cricket Pizza
Maybe I’m rating this higher than a 1 because I was really hungry (read, hangry).
I’ve eaten bugs before on purpose; Candied grasshoppers and
cockroaches, teriyaki scorpions and centipedes among other weird things
so my expectation for the pizza was fairly positive. I ordered a slice
for $10 (TEN DOLLARS!) and was greeted with mealworms standing
up on their end, wingless crickets and one dilapidated scorpion. I don’t
know what tasted foul, the cheese or the bugs. Everything was dry and
dirt-flavoured. For ten bucks, you could at least put some bugs on a
primo piece of pizza. The scorpion still had some substance, but the
crickets and mealworms were so dry and hollow it was like biting into a
stale chip filled with air. This is the only food I did not finish
simply because I could have gotten better pizza from a garbage bin.
Ranking: 2 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Tastelessness, legs stuck in my teeth, high price
Maple Bacon Doughnut Cheeseburger
This was both fulfilling and disgusting
all in one quick-serve meal. I’m one of those horrible Canadians who
dislikes anything maple. This bad-boy was a cheeseburger with maple
doughnuts acting as buns. The patty, cheese and bacon were all pretty
tasty. The fact that the grease from the meat was melting away the maple
glaze, creating a sticky coating of sweet/savoury that made my palate
shriek with confusion and horror was enough to keep me from eating the
entire thing. Thankfully I had two other members of my team to help. It
was actually fairly comical how fast I requested a hand-washing station
once we were through with the ‘burger’.
Ranking: 2 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Maple, proximity of hand-washing station from food stall
Flower Cotton Candy
Another high-priced item, ringing in at $10 for a whopping $0.10 of sugar, the remainder of the value was found in the labour (each piece took about five minutes to craft).
I got to pick my colours and watched the master at work. They were
using coloured brown sugar rather than white which gave the flower a
very robust, deep flavour. The three of us destroyed the bloom in under a
minute. R.I.P., cotton candy art.
Ranking: 3 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Complexity, high price
Oh my gosh, perogies. This in itself is
enough to get me intrigued. Smother them with fries, cheese curds and
gravy? Where’s the wheelchair because I’m going to be too large to walk
myself off the grounds. The perogies were pretty tasty, along with the
sausage that was smothered in sour cream and gravy. The poutine portion
itself was a tad disappointing. Poorly-cooked crinkle-cut fries, very
little cheese and watery gravy lapped in the bottom of the cardboard
tray after we had massacred the meal. I’d go back for a second one, just
no fries please.
Ranking: 3 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Limp fries, perogies in anything (mmm…)
Ah yes mini doughnuts. A midway staple no
matter where you are in North America. The company who technically
invented these little treats and patented the machine they use graces us
with their presence every year on the Stampede midway for $5 a dozen.
Best use of money ever! They’re hot, sweet and greasy. A perfect balance
of cake and crisp, fried outside. Everyone knows the smell of
mini-doughnuts, I hope you don’t pass these up the next time you smell
Ranking: 4 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Deliciousness, price, midway classic
Deep-Fried Macaroni & Cheese
Triangles of Heaven is what these should
be called. Delicious, piping hot macaroni and cheese breaded in fine
crumb served with nothing but napkins. They’re not too saucy to be a
mess but not too dry to be disappointing. We all burned our mouths on
them though, so be careful because I’m pretty sure they’re baked in a
nuclear reactor. They were pretty greasy, served in a tray of seven with
four napkins. I used a napkin per and was still whining for another
hand-wash station. If it wasn’t for the last entry, I would have gone
back for a second order. Mmm cheese…
Ranking: 4 out of 5 Cowboy Hats
Takeaways: Perfect little triangles, brings me back to my college days, grease
Turkey Dinner Poutine
Literally just like Grandma used to make.
Delicious hand-cut fries, thick gravy, aromatic bread stuffing, real
cranberries and a mound of juicy, well-seasoned turkey breast that
reminded us of Christmas and Thanksgiving rolled into one takeaway
container. This was another dish served directly from a volcano-oven, so
we had to take turns playing ‘hot-potato’ with the container until it
decided to cool down. (Side note: You don’t place your food down at the
risk someone else will smell what’s cooking and approach asking to
share). This had all the right herbs and spices, the fries were
golden-brown and crisp, the gravy had an amazing fat ratio that made it
stick to everything. Oh – and cheese curds! Hello.
Ranking: 5 out of 5 Leopard-Print Cowboy Hats (because why not)
Takeaways: Turkey. Poutine. Cheese.
All in all, we spent a lot of money on
food that would make any nutritionist have nightmares and cold-sweats.
But it was totally worth it. My jeans are tighter now than ever and I’m
proud of my Stampede Belly. Want to see our Food & Fun gallery?
Check out the Facebook Album.
Tickets for the 2015 Calgary Stampede (July 3rd-12th) go on sale October 6th, 2014. Hope to see you, cowboys and cowgirls!
The weather in Calgary hasn’t been well-received this month. We were
teased with two weeks of hot, humid, sticky days and chilly nights
followed by constant rain and nights near zero. At the start of this
past weekend it seemed the weather was going to behave so we hurriedly
packed our weekend bags, the s’mores kit and a few other weekend
essentials. We were off to the cabin about 40 minutes NE of Edmonton,
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the RDIO app on your phone, I
highly recommend it. Streaming music based on what suits your mood and,
if you have the paid version, instant access to thousands of albums,
there’s never a boring moment when you’re driving down the road, sunroof
open listening to exactly what you want to, no more annoying radio
commercials. Of course this app uses some healthy data so it’s best to
keep an eye on your consumption. No one likes data overage charges on
their monthly mobile statement.
We had not visited the cabin since February for a Valentine’s Day
getaway (our idea of celebrating is avoiding all the lovey-dovey and
commercial pressure and enjoy each other’s company in the woods) and the
lawn was overgrown, windows were covered in spider webs and I think a
family of squirrels had moved into my hosta garden. No matter – we got
to work! Arriving at 5pm on Friday we had the entire property trimmed
and shiny by 8pm. I took to organizing the bedroom and kitchen as well
as preparing dinner while the other half chopped some wood and readied
what was to be a momentous fire seen from space. Steaks and Caesar salad
in hand, we sat outside at the fire. At the ‘click’ of the lighter to
begin a night of laughter, stories and reflection we heard a bigger
sound: the boom of thunder rolling in. Literally ten seconds later the
skies opened up and soaked about ten square kilometers with our cabin in
the dead centre.
We ran inside and shook ourselves dry. Now I can handle most weather
like a 5’6” warrior, but when it’s raining sideways the last thing I
want is a second shower in freezing rain. The decision was made to hide
inside, cowering from the rain with high hopes the storm would pass and
we could enjoy that fire we had been craving for months.
Two hours passed. The storm was not letting up. Thankfully a few
months back we had the smart idea to sign up for the Shaw Direct 2nd
Home – a program provided by us that offers service at a second
location for almost 50% off the retail price! We were shipped a
satellite dish and receiver, booked the install with the local company
and had the service up and running within a few weeks (it could have
been sooner but our schedules were a bit tight). We picked a package
smaller than what we had at home, no movies or sports, got a free month
of service, a free HDPVR rental and some free movies, but it’s perfect
for those rainy nights at the cabin when all the Monopoly money has been
played and that DVD set of Star Wars is smoking from being watched so
You can find more information here: http://bit.ly/1kjsvQL along
with the program requirements and terms, and if you are ready to sign
up, get in contact with one of our customer care agents – Chat now http://bit.ly/15naFpg with a live agent.
What better way to celebrate Cottage season? Enjoy your weekends away in any weather with the 2nd Home program from Shaw Direct.
Wow. I don’t know how else I can put the four days of running,
panels, photos, transcripts, tweets and meet and greets. By Sunday night
I was exhausted and twitching with geek-like excitement. If I could
unscrew my legs and put a fresh pair on, I could have done another week
of the Calgary Expo.
The majority of our time was spent in panels although we did a bunch
of floor walking, checking out the cool costumes and vendors. We did
transcripts of a bunch of panels and I was considering writing details
on all of them. Instead, I’m going to take the best pick from each –
short and sweet.
Barry Bostwick, when asked if he has noticed changes in acting for television shows:
You make less money now… it’s harder to actually get a job,
because everybody wants to do TV… Burt Reynolds and David Hasslehof are
who I am up against. I’ve been trying to convince actors in my age range
to move away from California so it makes it easier for me to get their
Anthony Daniels, on the reception of Star Wars:
When we made Star Wars, nobody knew what would happen.
All the cast thought it was a silly film, but they were dedicated to
their work… nobody really understood George’s vision.
Then the film opened, and a few people went to see
it, and they ran out – they got their friends and they ran in, they ran
out and grabbed more friends and, not that the word existed, but it
became “viral” to where it is today. And the reason became viral, aside
from it being easier to watch it on multiple media types, the story of
Star Wars carried the audience up, up and up, and brought us to today
and the future was the audience, and then it was your children, and now
it’s your children’s children. And the love and affection and devotion
you have shown everybody in the film, everybody in the crew that you may
not even recognize when you see their name on the roll… but you
contributed to the whole thing, the saga… and who knows where we’re
going next. I will end with a really heartfelt thank you to all of you.
You’ve been there for me.
Matt Smith, on how he sees the world after playing Doctor Who:
It categorically changed how I see the world. As an actor you try
to experience things that your character does, if you’re running a
bath, run a bath as the Doctor would run a bath – and it’s just a far
more interesting bath. Go for a walk in the park as the Doctor would go
for a walk in the park, I recommend everybody try this.
Karen Gillan, on what would be in her perfect burrito:
Diced chicken breast, avocado, pepper, maybe a cheeky sauce.
Vivica A. Fox, on the filming of her legendary fight scene in Kill Bill:
It looked and felt incredibly realistic… It took four days to
film… There weren’t a lot of tricks; other scenes used wires, Uma’s and
mine fight was the most brutal because there were no tricks. We
performed 95% of the fight. The only part I didn’t do was when Vernita
Green crashed over couch and into coffee table. I wanted wanted to do
it, but everybody said no.
After the last day of filming, I counted my
bruises, I had over thirty on my legs and arms, I was so proud! We went
through a little house in Pasadena and destroyed it. The fight went
through the entry, hallway, front room, fireplace, into a dining room
set, kitchen, through another dining room set, back into the front room
and we just destroyed the whole place… it was so cool.
Michael Rooker and Laurie Holden, on their character’s deaths on The Walking Dead:
MR: I wanted to go out the way I came in… Fighting, none of that
emotional stuff. If Merle could have jumped up from the grave and
smacked Daryl in the head, he would have.
LH: I’m glad Andrea went out the way she did. It came full
circle. She needed to go out on her terms – it was her choice to take
her own self out with her gun. I loved that she was with Michonne and
they healed that. I loved that she was able to relate with Rick and
Daryl and didn’t want anyone else to die – I felt like if there was any
confusion about her intention or motivation, that in that one particular
scene you saw her heart and who she was. It was the perfect death for
Sigourney Weaver, on putting her stamp on pop culture through her role in the Alien franchise:
When the decision was made to make Ripley a woman, it was made
not because they were feminists, but because no one would ever think
this young woman would be a survivor. It expressed something in our
culture, and continues to express something in our culture all around
the world about the underdog and our ability to find reserves and
resources in ourselves. It touched on a cord about who we are.
If we saw a reboot of the Alien movies, who would Sigourney want to play her character?
I’m gonna play my character.
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (casually called the Calgary
Expo) dominated a good portion of the Calgary Stampede grounds; the
majority of events were held within the BMO Centre – a 300,000 sq. ft
exhibit complex, Boyce Theatre and Corral – 25,100 sq. ft of space
offering 8,000 seats and the Big Four – 118,000 sq. ft used for more
exhibitors, guest signatures and photo-ops.
Last year, this was the entire event. I was only slightly surprised
to see the addition of a 95,000 sq. ft pavilion tent that housed
additional panels and a children’s area full of… kids.
Last but not least, Calgary Food Trucks. Two words: Oh my. The
lineups were so insanely long, but the food was worth it. I ended up
putting my big glutton shoes on, and tried a dish from every truck. But
it’s okay because we were there for four whole days, right?
You can check out our interactive map of the venue here.
If you’re planning on visiting the Calgary Expo next year, here are a few things to remember:
Exchange your tickets for wristbands early! Calgary Expo offers an
exchange day prior to the event which is clearly publicized. This is the
best time to do your exchange so you’re not waiting in the line day-of
while your favourite panel is starting.
You’re going to be walking on hard concrete for hours on end, with
little to no seating unless you hang out in the panels (and expect
plastic chairs), so bring super-comfy shoes, or a few pairs.
BMO Centre is kind enough to offer lockers with in/out privileges.
The price was $5 a day while we were there. They’re big enough for a
standard-size backpack or ten pairs of shoes, for the stylish.
If you are planning on doing it up right and wearing your best
costume, Calgary Expo has weapon and prop storage. I left my oversized
sword and foam handguns at home so I’m not sure the price or time limits
for this service.
There are a few food options on site. Inside the BMO Centre and Big
Four the options are the same (same foodservice contract, I would
assume). Burgers are decent, but the lineups and mashed-up crowds of
people are pretty crazy. Also, expect to eat on the floor. We ventured
outside to the YYC Food Trucks and tried each of them. As I said prior,
these queues are also long – but you’re outside with a good view for
people watching and you quickly move up the line. One thing I noticed
was the lack of vegetarian options. Don’t expect much other than a kid’s
cheese pizza and some cold veggies.
Be prepared to get close. Calgary Expo had a record attendance of
almost 100,000 people this year. That gets a bit intense in
close-quarters, but if you keep eyes-forward and remain polite you won’t
have any problem.
If you want to go to a panel, line up early. As press we were able
to fly in and out of all the panels without having to stand in lines.
Whether you have a regular or VIP pass, line up at least a half-hour
before your panel begins. They usually open the doors ten minutes before
the event and it is rush seating. VIP tickets have their own section
but if the panel is popular (like the Dr. Who panel), the sections will fill up fast. Better be safe than sorry.
Get the four-day pass. I know it seems like a super-long time to be
at the grounds, but if you can get off of work for all the days, do it.
You may not be on site for the entire time but at least then you will
have access to the entire event and not just a few select days. There
are so many panels and events every day and the last thing you want is
to miss something because you only purchased a pass for one day and you
want to participate in three days worth of content.
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo entered its ninth year with a nerdy four-day bang that still resonates through the halls of Calgary’s Stampede grounds.
This event is very unique compared to the others that come through
the city – Sure we have the quirky steampunk, electro-junkies of
“Beakerhead,” the sparkly Michelin Star “The Big Taste” that serves up
crazy-good food endlessly for a few weeks downtown, and of course the
Calgary Stampede, the greatest outdoor show on earth for over a century,
but any expo that starts out with a parade of Stormtroopers, Zombies
and Hobbits is a hands-down win in my book.
The Calgary Expo is a unique four-day event that invites a diverse
group of people to let loose and express what they love to the universe
without judgement, haste or hurt-feelings. From media guests, artists,
creators, horror guests, cartoon and animation stars, anime and manga
enthusiasts, and even guests and content geared towards little ones
makes its way to the Calgary Expo. We could not believe some of the
dedication and hard work that was put into costumes and makeup – and one
of the busiest booths in the main hall? The costume repair guys who had
everything from glittery-gold duct tape to spare eyeballs.
Along with the attendees and halls packed with exhibitors,
photographers, merchants, and LAN-Party tables, we opted to experience
some of the many panels offered. We stuck with the headliners including
Barry Bostwick, Vivica A. Fox, Anthony Daniels, as well as the marquee
guests of Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and Aliens.
There was also opportunity to sign up for geek speed-dating, a costume
contest, a quick Toastmasters session, or even a
how-to-perfect-your-comic-book-drawing-skills course; the options were
endless with always something to go check out. We packed our schedule
each of the four days, and never found ourselves standing still or
wondering what would be next.
The Parade Of Wonders (POW!):
Again. Stormtroopers. There were literally hundreds of parade
participants from all different movies, comics, T.V. shows and games in
full gear and character. We got to the starting point an hour early to
wander through the groups and get some wicked pictures. Accosted by
aliens? Check. A legendary picture of knights in practice? Double check.
We were even in the right place at the right time and bumped into
Anthony Daniels (yeah, I touched him), and Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of
Calgary who was marshalling the parade.
You know when you think about meeting a celebrity and you tell
yourself, “I can do this – cool as a cucumber,” and then you actually
meet them, accidentally drool on yourself, and end up grunting in some
alien language? That happened. Good thing my photographer was able to
keep it together and both Anthony and Nenshi posed elegantly for
Taking off from the riverfront at 11 a.m., the parade snaked through
the downtown core and shopping district, attracting thousands of
spectators, eventually ending up at Olympic Plaza (just a few jumps to
the Stampede Grounds) for the opening ceremonies. All of the special
guests were introduced, and the ceremonies were concluded with a
fairy-tale ending. Prince Charming proposed to his Cinderella right on
stage – thankfully she said yes. Although we were lacking on little
yellow birds and fairy dust, it still brought a tear to my eyeball.
T., eCare Agent with a strong background in customer service, she
studied literature and tourism, and also has a Bachelor of
Education. Passionate about writing, social media, culture and music,
she finally found a job where she gets to work and play.
A., eCare Agent. Experienced in caricature illustration, translation,
writing and editing music. His interests include art, cinema, reading,
languages, nutrition and of course, technology.