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L.A. Beat


The L.A. Beat

New West Theatre has something for everyone in thirty-sixth season

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Coming off a record breaking season, New West is excited to present another eclectic season this year.

 This season really does have something for everyone,” said New West Theatre Artistic Director Kelly Reay.


Kelly Reay announces New West Theatre’s new season. Photo by Richard Amery

The first official show of the season is a music comedy revue “ Totally ’80s,” which is a tribute to the music and styles of the ’80s.

 “We’ve never fully explored  the ’80s before in our music comedy  revues. There are a lot of young families and professionals who will be really interested in that show,” Reay said.

The show runs  Aug. 7-24.


 But there are a couple New West Theatre adjacent shows happening before that.

 Up first, get all shook up with A Tribute to Elvis,” starring Matt Cage.

“ He played Elvis during the Million Dollar Quartet. Tickets are selling really fast for that show. It was a nice opportunity to bring him back,” Reay said.

 That show is happening for two nights only, June  22 and 23 at the Yates Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Each night.

 Then, Hootenanny returns to Galt Gardens with a new  original theatre for Young Audiences show  “Scout and the Rarest Badge Ever,” written and  directed  by Hootenanny veteran Ahona Sanyal.


“ That’s a great story ,” Reay said, adding part of New West Theatre’s  goals is developing up and coming young artists.


Rotary Dragon Boat Festival and Pride month shows among this week’s highlights

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Lethbridge is well into summer festival season.

But  first,  The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s weekly open mic is tonight, Tuesday, June 18 at 8 p.m..

 James Oldenburg and  Paul Holden  will be playing jazz music at the Watertower Grill, Wednesday, June 19.

 The Enmax Centre  hosts country stars Clint Black who is celebrating the 35th anniversary of his album  ‘Killin’ Time,’ and Carolyn Dawn Johnson  on Wednesday, June 19 at  7:30 p.m. Tickets are  $89, $77 and $65.

 In a more alternative country vein, Richard Inman returns to the Slice, Thursday, June 20. Admission to that show is by donation.

The big event of the week is the annual Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival, running in Henderson lake park, June  21-23.

Rebel Angels are among the local acts performing at the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 In addition to the races themselves, there is a full slate of live music happening with musicians and dancers performing all weekend.


 The fun begins on Friday, June 21 with local country musician Dusty Dee Litchfield opening the festival at 5 p.m. After the opening ceremonies with  Tsuaki Marule and  Mike Bruised Head at 6 p.m., Indigemusic featuring Jamie Medicine Crane and Will Belcourt will be performing. The Lethbridge Community Taiko Association performing at  7:15 p.m. 

 Uncovered rock the night away with two solid sets of your favourite hits at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

 British solo musician John Matthews plays a short set at 9 p.m.


Standard Time Jazz featuring trumpeter Don Robb, vocalist  Andrea Gedrasik,  keyboardist Randy Epp bassist  Greg Paskuski, and drummer Paul Walker open the second day of the festival at  11 a.m.

 After the Rose Ceremony, Winnie Brave will perform followed by  Henry HeavyShield, Horizon at 2 p.m. and Luke James Bruce. Later on,  Just 2 ( Adrian and Jamie Kaufmann), Bruce Peterson and Ranahan will be playing country and rock music. Gloria Rose and Lyle Boswell will show off their tap dancing prowess at  5:30 p.m. Then get ready to party ’50s style with Rebel Angels ’50s and swing dancers.

 Coyote Junction closes off the night a whole lot of country and rock hits at 8 p.m.

The last day of the Rotary Dragon boat festival features folk duo Reid and Writes at 11 a.m.  followed by Celtic Routes at noon, the Lethbridge Highland Dancing Association, Time Bandits at 1:30 p.m., The Lethbridge Chinese Cultural Dance Club at 2:30.

 The Chevelles rock the Dragon boats to a close at 3 p.m.


Pride Month continues with several events this week.


The Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts Queer music Night on Wednesday, June 19 with  local Celtic rock band Clover Overboard and the Band Formerly Known as Karen Lewis and Pam. The show begins at 8 p.m. Admission is by donation.


 The Owl Acoustic Lounge features a  Lethbian Throwback Pride Party and market, Friday, June 21.. There will be a costume contest, Drag show and Indigenous market beginning at 8 p.m. Followed by  a DJ at 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the drag and dance party or $10 after 10 p.m.


Galt Museum “ Taking Care” of nursing history in new permanent of exhibit

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 The Galt Museum is “Taking Care” of  a topic that seems obvious for the museum— recognizing The Galt Museum’s origin as Galt Hospital and Galt School of Nursing from 1910-1955

It seems like a long time coming, but the Galt Museum, has opened “Taking Care,” a new permanent exhibit reflecting the history of  the nursing school in Lethbridge.

 Galt Museum Curatorial Project head Myla Demers took on the project upon being hired as an intern in January 2023.

Galt Museum curator Tyler Stewart and  Galt Museum Curatorial Project head Myla Demers  open The Galt Museum's new permanent exhibit “Taking Care.” Photo by Richard Amery


 Approximately 18 months later, her hard work has come to fruition in the form of a series of  panels,  items from the  Galt Museum archives including shoes and uniforms and a couple interactive exhibits which will be switched over periodically.


“ My biggest takeaway is the strong connection and correlation between the mining community the nursing school had. It’s always been a part of Lethbridge’s history. The Galt family donated the money to start the school because they saw the miners needed health care ,” Demers said.


 Her favourite part of putting together the exhibit was working with Galt School of Nursing Alumnae Society members, who funded the project with donations from individual members.

“I got to meet and talk to these incredible women,” Demers said .


“They cared really deeply about this project and contributed a lot of tales and brought in items for the exhibit,” Demers said.

“The goal was to recognize them and their contributions to Lethbridge,” Demers continued.

“It definitely should have been done earlier. I’m incredibly honoured to  have been able to do this,” Demers continued.

Local cartoonist Eric Dyck designed the interactive parts of the exhibit.

Donna Karl,  president   of the Galt School of Nursing  Alumni association, is excited “Taking Care ” has finally come to fruition.


“ It’s a real dream come true. We really wanted to see this happen, so when Tyler (Stewart, Galt museum curator) came to us with the proposal, we thought it was really wonderful,” said Karl, who donated a pair of her old nursing shoes under her maiden name Donna Losey,  from the ’50s for the exhibit to accompany one of the nursing uniforms on display. 



Upside Downtown features fantastic local entertainment every Thursday this summer

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One of the best things about summer is  being able to sit out side and  enjoy some live music with a cold beverage in hand.

Joel Stretch and his band Starpainter are among  the performers at Upside Downtown this summer. Photo by Richard Amery


 So with that in mind,  Allied Arts Council promises something for everybody during an extended Upside Downtown season every Thursday from 5-7 p.m. in Rotary Square outside casa throughout July and August.

 The popular outdoor concert series grew out of Covid in 2021 and the ensuing demand for outdoor concerts.


 Allied Arts Council projects manager Shannon Bos wanted something for all tastes and identities when she booked her first  Upside Downtown.


“I was definitely  looking to book artists covering a range of genres and identities including female artists. I wanted to book a lot of different groups,” Bos said, adding she also wanted to continue focusing on local artists.

 One Exception os Toronto Based roots rock/ jazz tinged band Doghouse Orchestra  who were a hit of last year’s South Country Fair and will be playing  the Fair again this year.

“Steve (Foord, manager of Engagement) was able to snake them for Upside Downtown too. They’re fantastic and aI think a few of the members are from Alberta originally,” Bos enthused, adding it has been a lot of work.

“Now the work is done, I’m just excited to be able to sit back and enjoy live music. There is a lot of local talent. You don’t have to go far to find great music,” Bos beamed.

 Upside Downtown opens July 4 local punk trio MomBod and Alternative rock band Fawns. It is all about country music on July 11 with Hurtin.’


 The Doghouse Orchestra warm up for their South Country Fair performance by combining country with horns and a lot of different styles of music on July 18.

 Adequate bring the funk to Rotary Square, July 25. 

 August opens with more outlaw style original country with Badlands on Aug. 1.


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

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