City Market Report: Week 19

It’d be very easy to get used to autumn mornings like the one we were treated to today – a touch chilly in the shade, but sunny and bright and full of optimism for the season ahead.

Unlike most Saturdays, I was actually up early this morning, staffing the Downtown Edmonton Community League booth for the fall membership drive. Thanks to everyone who came by to say hi!


Chris and I ❤ yegdt! (DECL’s last day at the market selling memberships is October 8, 2011)

It was a busy day at the City Market, as the teams competing in the Edmonton International Film Festival’s annual 24/One Challenge descended on the street to sign in for the competition.


Kerrie Long, Festival Producer, was this market’s bellringer


EIFF program, anyone?

As a tie-in, the market invited vendors and patrons alike to dress up in their favourite 80’s movies characters. Though only about a half dozen people did so, it still added to the day’s festivities!

The Bangle Box

The Blues Brothers at The Bangle Box

Prairie Mill

Owen (of Prairie Mill)’s homage to Top Secret

Pretty in Pink

August Studio Ceramics is Pretty in Pink

Mack and I were lucky enough to have been asked to be the judges in the competition, and although The Bangle Box, Prairie Mill and Studio Ceramic rounded out our top four, there was no doubt who had our favourite costume.

Three Ghostbusters fans, members of the Alberta franchise of Ghostbusters Canada, brought their proton packs, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Ecto-1 and their passion for the films to the market, to the delight of adults and kids alike (though I think the younger ones were just excited to see an inflatable mascot). It turned out the trio had set up at the market to entertain the crowds, but deservingly, walked away with the top prize – two VIP passes to the film festival.


Who you gonna call?

We also came across a poster that will be used in an upcoming marketing campaign for the winter continuation of the market in City Hall (which starts October 15). I love the tie-in of the transit ticket.

Year-round market!

Hurrah for a year-round City Market!

Oh, and let’s not forget the produce!

Jen's Organic Garden

Bok choy from Jen’s Organic Garden

Steve & Dan's

Concord grapes from Steve & Dan’s

Little Shoots Neighbourhood Farm

Sunflower shoots from Little Shoots Neighbourhood Farm (really worth trying if you haven’t already)

Sundog Organic Farm

Radishes from Sundog Organic Farm

Sundog Organic Farm

Carrots from Sundog Organic Farm

Sundog Organic Farm

Fairytale eggplant from Sundog Organic Farm

Sundog Organic Farm

Garlic scapes from Sundog Organic Farm


Brussel sprouts from Kuhlmann’s


Parsley from Kuhlmann’s


Patrons attack the corn at Kuhlmann’s

It was also great to see Patty Milligan again at the City Market for the first time in a few months – she’s back for the remainder of the outdoor market dates, but then that’s it for Lola Canola! Patty will be moving on to other things – so make sure to stop by and say hi in the next few weeks!

Lola Canola

Patty’s back!

Next week, the City Market is hosting it’s final cultural festival of the year – Africa Fest. See you there!

24/One at the Edmonton International Film Festival

At the City Market last weekend, dozens of people gathered around the Edmonton International Film Festival tent, readying themselves for the 24/One Challenge: make a family-friendly short film in just twenty-four hours!

For the chance to win a $500 cash prize, 45 teams of three entered the competition, with 38 managing to hand in their submission by the deadline. In addition to a selecting one of three genres (comedy, film noir or mockumentary), teams had to include a prop in their film (they were given $5 to purchase something from the farmers’ market), and also incorporate the line “They’re reel…and fabulous” into their script. A jury panel then chose the top ten to be screened on the last day of the festival. The winner of the grand prize, however, was to be chosen by the audience.

I was was planning on making it to at least one screening at EIFF, and after the excitement at the market, figured it would be best to satisfy my curiosity and find out how the teams did. Mack had been lucky enough to get free tickets from EIFF this year, so though he couldn’t come with me, I was able to take advantage of a complimentary pass.

Due to a fire alarm and subsequent evacuation, the screening had been pushed back a half hour. It wasn’t a long wait, and besides, it meant the excitement for the filmmakers in the audience (who wouldn’t know if their film made it into the top ten until show time) had even more time to grow.


The line at Empire Theatre

I really didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did. Several of the films were hilariously absurd (including personified vegetables, an alien encounter, and the sport of “freestyle walking”), and I couldn’t help but appreciate the creativity on display. Though some were cleaner than others, in terms of camera work or sound recording, for example, it was amazing to me that all of the films had been written, shot, and edited all in twenty-four hours.

My two favourite films (and the two that I ended up voting for with my audience ballot) were by Team Show & Tell and Team SSC. The former produced Mittens, about a man entranced with a girl who left a mitten behind at his bus stop, to the point of developing stalker tendencies, while the latter, Reunion, prominently featured its prop (a jar of grape jam from Strathcona County Kitchens) in its telling of a band shattered by a member’s “preserve addiction”.


My ballot

Though I didn’t connect with Walk the Line, a mockumentary about the sport of freestyle walking, it was clearly very well done. More than anything, I was actually able to identify the Edmonton locations they used (something I was hoping for more of) – Beaver Hills Park and the Legislature grounds.

Before they announced the winner of the $500 people’s choice prize, host Rick Lee handed out prizes in jury-determined categories. Walk the Line took home a majority of the awards, including best director, editing and cinematography, so it wasn’t a surprise when they were also called up for the people’s choice award.

I was really glad to have caught 24/One fever – it’s something I will definitely look for at next year’s festival!

The Edmonton International Film Festival: “Rachel Getting Married”

The Edmonton International Film Festival, arguably the most accessible festival in Edmonton’s catalogue (“we’re going to…a movie”), began last week, screening independent and light-Hollywood films for nine days. I usually take in at least one fairly mainstream movie per festival, and this year was no different.

We chose Rachel Getting Married, an Anne Hathaway-feature that garnered much praise after it screened earlier this fall at the Toronto International Film Festival. After reading the synopsis, I figured the wedding would be simply a backdrop to the real drama, but in actuality, the ceremony and everything that surrounded it (the rehearsal dinner, the reception) was showcased in full glory. This was both a strength and weakness of the film: while the scenes appeared so emotionally genuine (to the point where I wanted to be invited to be a part of the family), I think Mack was right in saying certain scenes could have used more liberal editing (was listening to a dozen rehearsal dinner speeches necessary? Or watching a lengthy dance floor montage?).

The core of the story, however, focused on Hathaway’s character Kym, a young woman returning home from rehab on the occasion of her sister’s marriage. Over the course of the movie, it is revealed that when Kym was sixteen, while high on drugs, ended up causing an accident that killed her younger brother. Each member of the family coped with this tragedy in a different way – Kym with her addiction, Rachel in studying psychology (an area that allows her to learn about human behavior) and the mother with separation and denial. How each member of the family related to each other was fascinating to watch, and in light of all of the wedding fun, I wished for more moments like the quiet one between Rachel and Kym preparing up for the ceremony.

The shaky camera (and seemingly unnecessary close-ups) had thankfully dissipated for the most part by the end of the movie, but I know Mack was happy when the film was over for this reason. While it’s not a must-see, Rachel Getting Married is an interesting window into a fictional family doing its best to move forward from a past tragedy.

The Film Festival runs until Saturday.