Tag Archives: Alberta

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Alien Art Gallery

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canada.day.2013

The Art Gallery of Alberta looks like an alien ship has landed. Fabulous architecture always bring colour and life to a city centre. Tourism flourishes around the building. People line up to get into and into all the various collections. This building is designed by Randal Stout Architects.

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travel Alberta’s beauty

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Jasper, Alberta

The Creative Beauty of Nature.

Jasper National Park is the silent larger sibling to Banff National Park to the south. Banff also benefits from having a large world class city within a short 90 minute drive.  In fact you can see the beautiful rocky mountains from Calgary. The mountains are so large you think they would be closer. Jasper is the little town located within the Jasper Park boundaries. It is not quite the same hustle bustle of Banff with all it’s upscale retail stores. Banff is a tourist attraction with all the usual tourist cliche’s and trappings. Stunning, but still referred to by local Albertans as a big time tourist attraction. It’s the West Edmonton Mall for outdoor folks.

Jasper is a more about wilderness and wide open spaces. You get the sense of scale from the first time you pass through the front gates. After a four hour drive from the nearest International airport and you realize you are in the middle of nowhere Canada. That is exactly what makes it spectacular. I spent many years there as a kid growing up and as an adult camping or skiing. My favorite place was always the hike several kilometres up the Mount Edith Cavell trail to the Alpine Meadows. I found a sort of serenity there not found anywhere else. I think everybody needs the place to download your brain and recharge the creative. Unfortunately, years later seasonal workers had found the trailhead and popularized it so much that it required a charitable foundation to help protect it. You don’t have to protect things that don’t get damaged. The Alberta Government is trying to protect a lot of things right now. Trying to anyway.

The media has rediscoverd this lovely Rocky Mountain recreational playground.  Back in 1953 Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum filmed ‘River of No Return‘. Photographer John Vachon has released a book featuring the starlet and friends as they cavorted around the Canadian Rockies.  Playing in theatres now is the movie ‘Alpha and Omega’ 3D about a couple of wolves. Of course the media exposure of Alberta recently by a James Cameron visit will bring added tourism dollars. I think it will be a good thing for people to visit this neck of the woods and realize that we shouldn’t be carving up the landscape to fill our gas tanks. As the old adage says ‘You have to take the good with the bad‘.

Interesting side notes – Dennis Hopper whom I enjoyed as an actor, artist and collector has all of his works up for auction. Dennis also is a voice for one of the wolves. Apple computer spokes person Justin Long is another recognizable voice.

Alberta’s Avatar

Canadian Director James Cameron visits Alberta.

The poll conducted by a local television station website showed most voters didn’t care about James Cameron visiting Alberta. Of course you’d have to consider that most probably don’t know Mr. Cameron or what he does.

Media is the method in which we communicate our messages. Word of Mouth, Newspapers, Books, Radio, Television, Movies, and Internet are just a few types of media. Propaganda was spread with media to promote the good and bad of yesterday and today’s world cultures. During the time of global conflicts the media was controlled by governments to limited how the message got distributed. Media is a fascinating industry to work in despite the external controlling parties. We have learned to filter out what we want.  As they say if you don’t like the channel – change it.

On the other end of media is the methods in which to hide issues that would otherwise be openly visible to the world to comment on. For years the Oil & Gas industry has gone about it’s business around the world inflecting environmental disasters and ignoring the long term results for their own profit. Does anybody remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill that devastated the Alaskan coast line ? The problem ran through the court system for 25 years and some concerns are still in legal. A couple of bad judgments can result in a global environmental problem for generations. And these problems can happen so fast. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a perfect example. The media had to force the information out of the companies involved. Media has it’s roll to play. And when big companies do wrong it is important for the media to inform the public.

How many people have flown over the Alberta Tar sands ? Well have a look, it’s not pretty.  Now, we have a Media Mogul who wants to show the world this region. Why not learn from where your Oil & Gas come from. Think about it next time you buy a new car, or turn the furnace on this winter.  Never before have both Government and Oil & Gas Conglomerates moved so fast in promoting how they are improving the region. Who is paying for those people who went on line to vote on  Mr. Cameron’s visit. I think we have an idea.