HicksBiz Blog

Category: Around town

Around town

HICKS ON BIZ: Hey, media, stop picking on Big Oil BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN POSTED: FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014

It’s a hoary old cliché, but so true.

In journalism, there’s no such thing as objectivity.

Bias hangs out on every corner.

It’s so darned obvious in the mountains of verbiage expended on .02% of Canada’s boreal forest surrounding Fort McMurray, the oilsands.

Note the bias: I throw in the fact the oilsands take up less than one-fifth of one percent of the boreal forest. The underlying message: The oilsands are NOT destroying Canada’s wilderness.

That one little fact, slipped in, pretty well tells you where this commentator is coming from.

The reality is this city, hence yours and my livelihoods, is highly dependent on oilsands generated wealth. So I support oilsands development – as long as the environmental rules are followed, and the rules get tougher to the point of miniscule or zero tolerance when technology permits.

Most commentators will not admit to a bias. But it’s so easy to tell.

Those adamantly opposed to oilsands development call the oilsands the “tar sands.”

Gee, what was your first clue? Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Fine dining at Fort Edmonton Park BY GRAHAM HICKS , EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

It still remains a culinary secret, even though Johnson’s Café has been open for over 10 years in the Hotel Selkirk at Fort Edmonton Park.

Why would this very good dining room, in the height of summer, only have a few tables occupied on a lovely Thursday evening?

Location, location, location.

It’s the café’s biggest strength and weakness. The historic Hotel Selkirk is in Fort Edmonton Park, accessible by a side road after the park closes. The site is so beautiful, it’s Jasper without the three-hour drive.

But destination diners don’t think of Johnson’s Café. And if they did, they’d be unsure how to get there and uncertain of its hours.

This will change. Fort Edmonton Park soon plans to be open year-round with upgraded services. Leading the changes is new food services supervisor and master chef Jasmin Kobajica, who’s already raised the bar on park food.
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Hicks' Weekly Dish: It's all about the Meat BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 08, 2014

Meat, recently opened in Edmonton's Old Strathcona district in Alberta, Canada,  is one of the best, fully thought-through restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of entering.
It’s full of contradictions. Yet, from the initial impression, to décor, to food and menu, it’s one delicious whole.
Whoever has heard of a BBQ smokehouse parading as a tea room!
This slightly dainty, new-age establishment is serving up mounds of mouth-watering beef brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken! It’s the opposite to the stereotypic “y’all chow down now, y’hear?” smokehouse. In fact, there’s not a smokehouse cliché to be seen.

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Hicks' Weekly Dish: Tasty Tomato is all about classic comfort food BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 01, 2014

Tasty Tomato Italian Eatery 14233 Stony Plain Road 780-452-3594 www.tastytomato.ca Open evenings, with lunch Thursday and Friday. Closed Sundays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 stars If it ain’t broke, why fix it? I can’t bear witness, as last week was my first visit to the Tasty Tomato Italian Eatery. But by all reports, not much has changed in 20 years, other than Angelo and Mirella Amendola are older, and son Joe is now a full partner in the family-run restaurant. To which Angelo would shrug his shoulders and say, why change? The restaurant is full on weekends and obviously has a loyal clientele that spans generations. Tasty Tomato has a comfy ‘80s feel. It’s not the least bit trendy, but is in no need of a makeover. Which also describes the menu — as classic Canadian-Italian as you’ll find, with 18 pasta selections, veal and chicken entrees, starter tomato salads, calamari, eggplant, escargot and brusc ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks’ Weekly Dish: How not to run a restaurant BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN POSTED: TUESDAY, JUNE 03, 2014

The Weekly Dish talks about some of the basics in providing a satisfying dining experience ... and how many small restaurants are lacking in many departments! 

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Soul Sisters: Odysseo by Cavalia, Cirque du Soleil and La Bonhomie Quebecois

Odysseo by Cavalia Under the big top erected east of Fort Road, north of Yellowhead Trail, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Through August 10, 2014 Tickets $25 to $200, at www.cavalia.net  Review/Reflection by Graham Hicks  It’s very interesting, because the world-famous Cirque du Soleil made its original artistic reputation as the first animal-free circus of any stature. Odysseo by Cavalia, with its 64 horses, is as culturally, spiritually and technically as connected to Cirque du Soleil as any show could possibly be. In fact, I would bet dollars to donuts that behind the scenes there is an immense amount of interaction between the two organizations, given Cavalia founder and on-going artistic director Normand Letourelle was a partner with Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte  in its earlier years.  And obviously somebody had to finance what was obviously an enormous undertaking when Cavalia was founded in 2003. Odysseo by Cavalia is not only a spiritual sister to Cirque ... Read the rest of entry »

Looking for the right individuals to represent us in Ottawa - Edmonton-Centre Liberal nominee Randy Boissonnault

By GRAHAM HICKS Hicks on Biz posting Sunday, June 8, 2014 www.hicksonbiz.com graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com Eyebrows were raised in a few political circles the other week, when photos of my door-knocking in Inglewood with potential federal Liberal Edmonton-Centre candidate Randy Boissonnault made the Twittersphere rounds. About the only other federal Liberals I whole-heartedly supported – when I was a full-time Edmonton Sun columnist – were Anne McLellan and David Kilgour, and Kilgour had started at a Conservative. So why door knock with Boissonnault? Simple. I have reached the point I’m more interested in individuals than party politics. I want to help intelligent, thoughtful individuals who actually believe in public service, who, for the right reasons, want to be in the House of Commons to make a difference. I’m tired of career politicians who don’t know how to make a living in the real world, and fed up with over-inflated political egos. I want individuals running for th ... Read the rest of entry »

Make Mine Love - Citadel comedy premiere still rough around the edges - review by GRAHAM HICKS

Make Mine Love World Premiere by Tom Wood, directed by Bob Baker, starring Rebecca Northan, John Ullyatt and Julian Arnold Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Tickets May 10 to June 1, 2014 Review by GRAHAM HICKS There are delightful, hilarious, slap-stick scenes in Make Mine Love, in which interactive live-film technology plays a leading role. But those gems are surrounded by long, laborious set-up stuff that just doesn’t quite work in the Citadel’s world premiere of its commissioned Make Mine Love, an original script written by Edmonton actor, director and playwright Tom Wood, directed by Citadel artistic director Bob Baker. Make Mine Love is a huge undertaking, especially with an untested script, 10 actors playing 26 roles, sets with hundreds of moving parts shifting with breathtaking ease across America from Hollywood, to New York City and a train in between, all in 1938 when women were dames, everybody smoked, and wisecracks were the accepted lingo of the day. ... Read the rest of entry »

This Romeo and Juliet sets The Citadel ablaze - Review by Graham Hicks

This Romeo and Juliet sets The Citadel ablaze Graham Hicks review Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Citadel Theatre – Maclab Stage Edmonton, Alberta, Canada April 5 – 27, 2014 Ticket information The opening to the Tom Wood-directed Romeo and Juliet will stay emblazoned in my memory as long as there is memory upon which to be emblazoned. Eighteen cast members on the stage (plus nine teen apprentices) are fighting, some with sword-play in the initial Montague/Capulet brawl. It’s a swirling galaxy of choreography, initially in slow motion to pounding lights and music, then shifting gears to real life speed, finally, slowly, winding down as the elders of the two warring houses and the rulers show up to sort things out. I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for big fight scenes, especially when the actors are in the prime of their athletic lives as these kids on either side of 30 are – rolling and flipping and dancing with those swords, up ‘n’ over ... Read the rest of entry »

How wondrous the Citadel Theatre's production of Mary Poppins - review by Graham Hicks

Mary Poppins A musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film Shoctor Stage, Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada through April 20, 2014 Ticket information. (Buy quickly. This show is going to sell out, especially at the low-end $35 rate) Review by GRAHAM HICKS Posted at www.hicksbiz.com March 21, 2014 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix How wondrous the Citadel/Theatre Calgary stage production of Mary Poppins (The Broadway Musical)! How mysterious that Mary Poppins, despite the 1964 Walt Disney movie, the West End/Broadway production of 10 years ago, and at least five songs that have burned their way into the memories of most of the English-speaking world, remains a lesser figure in the pantheon of favourite children’s fictional characters. At least that’s the case in North America. The original book of Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, didn’t travel well across the Atlantic, and the entire Mary Poppins’ series (eight books) made ... Read the rest of entry »