Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000



HOTC 2021 Logo Attilo_FS

***This feature is sponsored by Boyle McCauley News.***

Keep on Singing!

Heart of the City Festival has been bringing music and visual art to McCauley for the last 18 years. Over these years, we expanded our scope to include dance and spoken word, storytelling, poetry, and comedy. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, we cannot meet in Giovanni Caboto Park (which is our regular haunt), but we are going to keep on singing! With the ever-changing regulations, we are working on new and innovative ways to bring you talent and art from your neighbourhood and around the city. This year we will be hosting four workshops online. We will also be presenting a Spoken Word Variety Show, where you will hear some stellar poetry and comedy! Due to the unpredictable nature of the live music scene, and because of recently expanded COVID-19 restrictions, we are not yet able to confirm what form Heart of the City Festival will take for live music. We are currently working on a strategy to bring music from the downtown core to our neighbours. Please check our website regularly for updates!

Heart of the City Story Slam 2021 happens on Sunday, June 6 at 4 p.m. on Zoom. What is a story slam? It is a story-telling competition. Each competitor is given 5 minutes to tell a family-friendly story in which they try to convince the judges that they deserve to win our $100 prize! Stories are judged on a 10-point scale. Who can enter? Anyone from Edmonton age 14 and up can enter this contest! There is still time to register to tell a story in our story slam. Send us an email to register at Those of you who’d like to be in our audience can go to our website to find a Zoom join link. More info:


Heart of the City is dedicated to providing free workshops. This year we have a few writing workshops and a cultural sharing workshop which will be offered on Zoom. Please check our website for a complete and up-to-date list of workshops and times. If you would like to sign up for a workshop, send us an email and we will send you more information and the join link:

*Stefani Alzati
Channeling the Inner World*

Stefani uses guided meditation to settle the mind and open a channel to the inner world. In this 2-hour workshop, we settle into ourselves, write short poetry, and share our creations together. Listen to your heart and speak your truth with poetry!

Stefani Alzati is an artist, writer, and spoken word poet from Edmonton. She incorporates somatic principles and sensory modalities into her work. She believes that poetry can heal the world. She is the readings coordinator for Parkland Poets and sits on the board of the Heart of the City Festival.

*Lady Vanessa Cardona
Oral Storytelling and Theatre*

In this workshop, led by Lady Vannessa Cardona, we will look at the importance of spoken word. We will explore why we share orally, how traditionally nations, tribes, and communities have gathered to share stories for thousands of years. We will discuss the importance of oral storytelling and how it brings people together, how stories warn us, guide us, and gives us hope.
In this workshop, we might be asked to create a whole new story together or share our stories. We might be called to create Shadow Puppet Theatre or learn other tools that can be used and learned to share our stories, tools that stimulate all or more than one sense at a time, not just the sense of hearing.

My name is Lady Vanessa, yo soy Caleña, Colombia. I am the 2018 ‘Canadian’ Individual poetry slam champion. I am a former youth mentor of “Newcomers are Lit”. I am a playwright, author, and performer of the play “Three Ladies” and co-creator of “Whiteface.” I am the Founder of Sinergia, Fiesta y Resistencia and “Remix the Ritual”- A Hip Hop theatre collective.

*Sissy Thiessen Kootenayoo
Powwow 101*

Powwow dances are practiced by First Nations People in Canada as a form of prayer, ceremony, and celebration of culture. It includes a variety of dance styles, cultural regalia, and drum songs. During this experience, participants will learn about Powwow, what it is, its importance to Indigenous People, stories of each style, and teachings of respect and integrity.

Sissy Thiessen Kootenayoo is a Treaty 6 Nakota Sioux, Cree, and German cultural facilitator, Powwow dancer, crafter/beader, spoken word poet, singer, and creative writer with ancestral roots in both Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and Steinbach, Manitoba. Sissy has performed Powwow dance, spoken word, and song all over Edmonton, Alberta and in Montana, U.S. For more information about Sissy and her services, please visit: www.

*Nisha Patel
Poetry Editing Workshop*

In this workshop, poets will be encouraged to treat their creations with care and ruthlessness, refining their works to serve their audiences and enabling their truest meaning and forms to emerge.

*Sunday, June 6 at 1 p.m. *
To register and receive the Zoom link please email

Nisha Patel is an award-winning queer poet and artist. She is the City of Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, and the Canadian Individual Slam Champion, as well as the 2021 Regional Writer in Residence with the Strathcona County Library. Her debut collection, COCONUT, came out April 2021 with Newest Press.

Spoken Word Variety Show

Saturday, June 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. Hosted on Zoom.
Please check our website for a link to join the Zoom call!

In this family-friendly show on zoom, we will be joined by spoken word artists; poets, and comics. Hosted by Stefani Alzati, our comics and poets will make you laugh and possibly cry. They will entertain and challenge you. Join us for some thought-provoking poetry and a few laughs with local spoken word artists.


Poetry can take your breath away. It can change the way you see a small detail or help you see from someone else’s vantage point. Poetry will challenge and enlighten you. It will help you feel all the feels. Expand your horizons and join us!

Featured Poets:

Winnipeg Wallace (he/him) is a spoken word artist who has twice represented Edmonton at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. He enjoys bulldogs, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and most of all, sweet beautiful poetry.

Mikayla Bortscher is a student of English and Philosophy at the University of Alberta. In her spare time, she writes poetry, plays harp, and goes running. She finds inspiration for her poetry primarily from life experience, nature, and reading non-fiction on philosophy and science. She has been published in Glass Buffalo, Grip Magazine, and the anthology Liminal Space.

We are also featuring Meghan Ekar and K’alii Luuyalkw.


Comedy on Zoom is hard. Real hard! And it can lead to some of the most intensely funny moments, as comedians try to read the room of a bunch of blurry faces, with muted mics, staring back at them from across the Internet. It can be awkward. It can be risky. And most of all, it can make you laugh! A muted laugh is nearly indistinguishable from a painful stomach ache, so come ready to laugh till your belly hurts.

Featured Comedians:

Cindy Rivers (she/her) has performed and headlined all over Canada and even the USA. She’s performed at festivals and clubs such as, Nextfest, Big Pine Comedy Festival, Grindstone Comedy Festival, World Vibe Festival, LA Comedy Club in Las Vegas, Los Angeles Diversity In Comedy Festival by Second City, Just for laughs Northwest, and opened for the world-renowned Hannah Gadsby. She’s slightly awkward and quirky, but all funny.

Dan Taylor talks to people. He does it on comedy stages all over North America. He does it on television on CBC, CTV, YESTV, and others. He does it for corporations and universities and churches and clubs. Drawing on his experience as a husband, father, social worker, pastor, and barista, Dan’s unique background enables him to connect with a diverse audience.

We are also featuring Simon Glassman.

CreArt Youth Stage

The Youth Stage is organized primarily by youth who work with CreArt Free School of Art under the direction of Sebastian Barrera. We are excited to announce that these talented young folks will be producing live streams featuring local musicians ranging in age from 14 to 27 years old all summer! Please check the CreArt website for a schedule of events:

Featured Youth Stage Artist and Mentor:

George Zhang

I am a Chinese Canadian, with a passion for music and education. I am a CreArt board member and a community mentor. Every Saturday afternoon, I host a free guitar workshop on the CreArt website. I am also organizing the 2021 online Heart of the City Music Festival youth stage, where we host weekly performances for our local artists.

Meet Our New Music Director!

Heart of the City is pleased to be working with Mike Chenoweth. Mike has a challenging job this year due to COVID restrictions and we are keeping him on his toes.

Mike Chenoweth is an Edmonton-based veteran singer/songwriter whose roots run deep in the Edmonton and Central Alberta music scene. He’s a well-experienced performer, recording artist, music teacher, jam host, luthier, and emcee. Mike has had a number of his original songs receive airplay by CKUA, CJSR, and CBC radio stations and has written and recorded the score for the independently released movie, Happy Hour.

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