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L.A. Beat


The L.A. Beat

Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens opens new Bunka centre

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The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens is proud to reopen their new building The Nikka Yuko Bunka Centre after six years of hard work, planning and collaboration.

“ We could not have done this without the co-operation with the city,” said Lethbridge & District Japanese Garden Society president Brad Hembroff.

The Nikka Yuko Bunka will be open for the Festival of Lights, Nov. 26. Photo by Richard Amery

 The new building will be officially completed and open in time for the Nikka Yuko Festival of Lights on Nov. 26.


“We’ll be opening it in three phases,” Hembroff continued, adding the first phase is Nov. 26 after final  pieces like inside doors to the main room and office carpeting will be completed. It will feature the opening of the café, gift shop and large event space.


The second phase features the opening of the programming spaces in the spring, weather permitting. 


The final phase will be the official grand opening for Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens’ 55th anniversary celebrations, July 14 next year.


 The new building features a front desk and gift shop greeting visitors. Right behind that will be a room dedicated to costumes, so people can come and dress up and tour the gardens in costume if they wish.

 There will be a café and coffee shop, next to a big set of windows showcasing the gardens themselves.

 There is a bigger room for special events and presentations and smaller rooms for special cultural activities including bonsai tree creation, cosplay and Sumo wrestling.


Doc MacLean to play African influenced Delta blues in Lethbridge this week

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Bluesman Doc MacLean took some time to reevaluate his life and career while spending most of the pandemic in South Aftrica.


 MacLean makes a long awaited return to the Slice on Friday, Oct. 29 to play a fantastic double blues bill with Paul Kype and Texas Flood.

 He is glad to be back on the road.


Doc MacLean and Albert Frost playing the Lethbridge Folk Club in 2018. Photo by Richard Amery

“It’s great to be back. I’ve a had a lot of cancellations because of Covid. Most of the venues have paid me anyway. So the venues are really looking out for the artists,” said MacLean from Creston B.C, noting his Thursday show in Calgary at the Blues Can and the Lethbridge show are still a go.

 He spent most of the pandemic locked down in Kwa Zulu Natal,  South Africa.


“I was locked down in Africa, I hardly played at all. You couldn’t have live music, alcohol sales and cigarette sales were banned and the military was enforcing it,” he said.


 “But it would have been worse if I’d been in a city. I was out on the edge of the jungle with monkeys and things. I was still deciding whether it was worth doing this thing,” he said, adding he was happy to not have to think about booking tours and taking care of the all the things that go on behind the scenes of being a touring musician.


“At least I could wander through the jungle and take a dip in the ocean,” he said, adding while he didn’t play a lot of music, he focussed on writing his books.


“I’ve been touring for over 20 years. It’s about my career and the people I’ve met I’ve been writing a blog for years, so there was a lot of material to draw from. I just need to go through it all,” he said, noting he’s considering a semi-permanent move to South Africa.


Makiisma to be part of local filming of Roku’s RiseUP series about touring musicians

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Megan Brown and her band Makiisma are excited to “Rise Up” on streaming service Roku.


The local doom folk band are part of a new series called RiseUP exploring the effects of Covid on touring musicians, which will be filming at the Slice, Tuesday, Oct. 26.


Makiisma play a special filming of RiseUP at the Slice on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Photo by Richard Amery

“ The series follows five different bands as they tour across Canada and the U.S.,” Brown said, adding she was excited when Slice owner Derek Hoyle approached her about being part of the Lethbridge shoot, which features Calgary singer songwriter Kyley Styles supporting his album  ‘Creating my Colours,’ Edmonton rap rock band Revolution Engine, Mexican hard rock band the B34st, Vancouver musician Tim Steinruck and Edmonton heavy rock band Sun of the Moon.


 This episode begins with  the Lethbridge date starting the Albertan leg of the tour in Lethbridge, Oct. 26, followed by Red Deer, Canmore, Calgary and ending in Edmonton.


Brown noted Makiisma will only be part of the Lethbridge show and expects the episode to air in the Spring.


 Makiisma includes Megan Brown on vocals, guitar and violin, drummer Keenan Pezderic, keyboardist TJ Waltho and bassist Kieran Swinney. His brother James Swinney will play extra guitar when Brown is playing violin.


“ We’ll be playing  a half hour, the other bands will be playing about 20 minutes. It will be a great night of music, ” she said.


“ I was so excited when Derek asked me to be part of it. I’ve never been on a reality TV show ,” she enthused.


Halloween and a lot more happening this week

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Celebrate Halloween for four straight days of Hellacious fun this week.

Even though Halloween is on a Sunday this year, everybody is getting into the spirit this week, but the fun really begins on Tuesday.


Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few play a couple of Halloween shows this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 Makiisma will be featured in an episode of Hoku series Rise UP about the effect of Covid on touring musicians.

The filming is at the Slice on Tuesday, Oct. 26.


 Makiisma will be joined by Calgary singer songwriter Kyley Styles supporting his album  ‘Creating my Colours,’ Edmonton rap rock band Revolution Engine, Mexican hard rock band the B34st, Vancouver musician Tim Steinruck and Edmonton heavy rock band Sun of the Moon. Tickets are available online for $16.93. The show is from 8-11:30 p.m.

 Good Times’ Comedy open mic is Tuesday. Brittany Lyseng returns to Good Times, Oct. 29 and Oct. 30.

 As usual there is a lot happening at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

 Their usual weekly open mic is on Tuesday.


 Because it is the last week of the month, the Owl’s monthly poetry open mic is Wednesday, Oct. 27.

 The next night, the Owl Acoustic Lounge turns up the volume with Edmonton Psychedelic noise punk band  the Dead Fibres, Vancouver alternative rock band Brass who have a new single “Winning Hand” and local alternative rock duo Cope. Admission is by donation.

The Slice’s usual weekly open mic is on Thursday as is Good Times’ weekly comedy open mic.


 There are Halloween parties and then some this week. 

Unfortunately Stage Fright: the Def Leppard Experience and local Volbeat Tribute Rebel Angels’ show at Club Lime has been cancelled, but there is a lot going on elsewhere.


L.A. Radio

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Also the home of  the Hotrock Blues Beat Saturday nights @ 8-10 p.m. and Disco Sucks: Punkin’ old school Wednesdays @ 10 p.m. to midnight.  with L.A. Beat editor Richard Amery.

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About L.A. Beat

L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

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