MacDonald has starred in three well received specials for the CBC in Canada and for Showtime in the US. His first special, Mike MacDonald; On Target was the very first one-hour prime time special by a stand-up comic in the history of the CBC. This success led to MacDonald’s next special, "My House! My Rules!" This special won its prime time slot when it aired in Canada. It also was nominated for two Gemini Awards. The Showtime version of "My House! My Rules!" was nominated for two CableACE Awards, "Best Comedy Special" and "Best Writing in a Comedy Special". His third Showtime special, called “Happy As I Can Be”, was originally slated as a half-hour show. When executives saw the footage, they immediately expanded it to an hour. “Happy As I Can Be” in its one-hour format also achieved a number 1 rating when it aired in prime time in Canada on the CBC
Valdy, born Valdemar Horsdal in Ottawa, Canada has been part of the fabric of Canadian pop and folk music for almost 40 years. A man with a thousand friends, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island to Texas to New Zealand, he’s a singer, guitarist and songwriter who catches the small but telling moments that make up life.
Remembered for Play Me a Rock and Roll Song, his bitter-sweet memory of finding himself, a relaxed and amiable story-teller, facing a rambunctious audience at the Aldergrove Rock Festival circa 1968, Valdy has sold almost half a million copies of his 13 albums, has two Juno Awards (Folk Singer of the Year and Folk Entertainer of the Year), a total of seven Juno nominations and four Gold albums to his credit.
Valdy’s recent CDs include “Contenders”, a collaboration with friend and fellow singer/songwriter, Gary Fjellgaard, with whom he has an absolute blast touring, and a solo release, “Viva Valdy: Live at Last”, a two-CD package, one live, one studio, with a total of 25 tunes, and a lyric booklet.
One of Canada’s most influential songwriters, Valdy’s composition A Good Song was recorded under the title Just a Man by the venerable Quincy Jones ( he sang lead on the recording!). Play Me a Rock and Roll Song has been recorded by a few artists, including John Kay of Steppenwolf.
Along the way, Valdy has taken his music to a dozen different countries, from Denmark to Australia and been an often-invited performer at the prestigious Kerrville Festival in Texas. His past television appearances include Canada AM and Open Mike with Mike Bullard. Valdy has also been a panelist on Front Page Challenge, and played a lead role in an episode of The Beachcombers original series.
That Don Cherry Guy
I started doing standup comedy at Yuk Yuks Komedy Kabaret in Toronto on June 30th, 1980. The club was in the basement of a small three story plaza at Bay and Yorkville. It's now a hotel. Success was slow. It took almost two years to get promoted to regular nights and another six months after that to get weekend spots at the club. (All spots done for free). But I learned. I went out on the road in late 1982 and have been there ever since. Started to get some buzz in the mid eighties, starting with the first of my Montreal Comedy Festivals in 1985. Since performed there in 1989, 1993, 1998, 2005, 2009, & 2012. I have done the Just For Laughs National Comedy tour twice. I have performed at everyWinnipeg Comedy Festival since it started in 2000. I have done the Halifax Comedy Festival four times and the Edmonton Festival twice. As well as Vancouver, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Milwaukee (Milwaukee?) and Thunder Bay comedy fests. I still dream of doing St John's, Owen Sound, and Muskoka. They're on my bucket list.
I moved to Los Angeles in the spring of 1988, feeling that if I didn't go I never would. I was hot from five solid years on the road. In each of the previous two years I had done more than 300 shows. I got to L.A. and was hot immediately, getting into the Improv and being seen by the man who booked The Tonight Show. I did the Tonight Show the first time on September 18th, 1990, a little over ten years after I'd started. I went on to do it six times. Once a year from 1990 to 1995. As well I did two Evening At The Improv 's, two Improv Tonite 's, three Comic Strip Live 's, Stand-Up Spotlite, MTV's Half Hour Comedy Hour, Caroline's Comedy Hour, Friday Night with Ralph Bennmergui , three Mike Bullard Shows, Comics! on CBC, two hour-long specials on Comedy Now - John Wing, Fly Me , andJohn Wing, The Elvis Years . I've been a regular contributor to CBC Radio's Definitely Not The Operaand The Debaters for close to ten years, and in 2006/07 had my own show on CBC Radio called Man, Woman, & Child .
In 1998 I started working for cruise ships. Many people call this the most lucrative dead-end job in show business, but I liked it and still do. It took several ships to get the hang of it, but I got there in the end. All the way I have endeavoured to get better, get funnier. I auditioned for a lot of acting gigs, but I'm not a very good actor. I'm good enough to play myself...on the radio. That's about it. I'm just a comedian.
In 1998 I published my first book of poems, A Cup Of Nevermind . It sold well in Canada. More than 18 copies, not including family members. I have since published...And The Fear Makes Us Special , (2000), None Of This Is Probably True , (2002), Excuses , (2005), The Winter Palace , (2007), So Recently Ancient , (2009), Almost Somewhere Else , (2012), and this year will publish my eighth collection, The Armless Trombonist. I also wrote and published a memoir about my first ten years as a comedian, entitled When You See The Red Light, Get Off(2002)
John Paul Smith
John Paul Smith
Drenched in the rich and diverse history of Western Canadian coal mining, singer/songwriter John Paul Smith leads the listener through historical and raw storytelling that celebrates country music’s history and future, drawing listeners in with classic, upbeat country/blues swing and memorable tales.
Jesse was born in the city of Lethbridge and raised to his teen years in the southern Alberta farming communities of Raymond and Fin Castle, AB. Jesse's early inspirations include the hypnotic sounds of big-name artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Black Crowes, City and Colour, Jack Johnson, Guns 'N' Roses, and Pink Floyd.
Jesse is a Blues/Rock/folk/Indie performer who has done his fair share of "paying his dues" opening and touring with such acts as: The Odds, The Northern Pikes, Monster Truck, The Wild, Holly McNarland, Econoline Crush, Coal Creek Boys, Cara Luft, Carson Cole, Clayton Bellamy (of The Road Hammers), Tupelo Honey, Retrograde, The Smalls, and Mcquaig to name just a few.
Coal Creek Boys
The Coal Creek Boys are not Country Music by today's standards in any way. The Boys can be placed into categories of Red Dirt, Rock, Outlaw - even Alternative Indie Folk - yet they are in no way limited to these. John Smith (lead vocals and guitars) writes music focusing on North America's historical events and performs with the band with as much authenticity as possible. The band is a direct reflection of their locale, Southern Alberta and Eastern British Columbia. Both Smith and Dino Scavo (bass, accordion, mandolin) were raised in coal mining country and relate with the Southern US, bearing the same hardworking mentality of these coal mining communities, as well as deep roots in family tradition.
With regular Radio Air Play all Across Western Canada and the United States, 2014 is an exciting year for John Smith and the Boys. The Coal Creek Boys have performed over 500 shows and can be found on festival stages from BC to Saskatchewan this summer. Veterans of some of Canada’s best showcases, venues And Festivals, Including The 2013 Calgary Folk Festival. The Coal Creek Boys have surpassed 77,000 sales of their two studio albums, Hard At It In Old Town (CD & Digital), and their latest release, Rose Town (LP, CD, & Digital). This growth in sales has ignited bookings for US tours and a highly anticipated solo EP from John Smith. In addition to US dates this fall, the Coal Creek Boys' long-awaited documentary is set to be released by the end of the year.
Keep up on the latest with John Smith & the Coal Creek Boys online at www.coalcreekboys.com, here on facebook, or follow John Smith (@coalcreekboys) on Instagram for a more behind-the-scenes look!
Cory Harding starting doing comedy in 1999 and quickly developed a style and perspective that Victoria Jackson called “Very funny and very original”.
Just three months after receiving that praise, Cory placed 2nd in the search for Alberta’s funniest new comic, marking the end of his first year in comedy, and solidifying his resolve to never bring a guitar to the stage.
The industry took immediate notice and offered Cory his first paying gig. Cory’s head swelled and he soon started annoying other comedians and industry insiders. By the time Cory had his second paying gig his career was in its twilight. He knew he had to do something quickly. In an effort to spruce up his act and get new material Cory asked his wife, a divorce lawyer at the time, to boot him out of his home and take all of his possessions. It worked!
With his newly found freedom, and wisdom, Cory is edgier than ever. His act reflects the maturity and experience that is usually only found in jaded comedians with 20 years or more in the Canadian entertainment industry.
“He can’t be stopped. You’ll have to restrain him.” - Attorney for the Plaintiff
The Fuzz Kings are a hybrid cross-over band that walks the line between country and rock & roll, and does it very well. Hailing from Edmonton, AB, this band has been slugging it out on the highways of western Canada from city to small town since the summer of 2012, and has released two full length albums ( 2014’s ‘ReTurn Of The Century’ and 2015’s ‘YourKids Are Gonna Love It’), both of which have been awarded much acclaim from numerous Earshot! Radio stations, and live music fans alike.
With his eclectic array of props and razor-sharp comedic timing, Clark's high-energy entertainment will be the highlight of your convention.
Since 1989 he's polished his act to a high level of professionalism, delighting audiences at conventions, corporate events and trade shows. Clark can customize his show with original material for any audience or corporate theme.
He's quick to develop a rapport with the crowd with his improvisational banter and innovative audience participation routines.
"Simply outstanding. Wow - Clark absolutely wowed our group which is exactly what they needed after two tough days of conferencing. Clark's humour, showmanship and high energy performance was the perfect release."
Tom Malone, V.P., B.C. and Yukon Regional Office, Scotiabank
"Clark Robertson was totally professional from the time he arrived to set up until he completed his performance. Clark's act captured the audience's full attention from the time he was introduced. The feedback I got from several people in the audience afterwards was excellent."
C.J. Woods, Senior VP & Director, Merrill Lynch
Lucid Tattooing & Design
Welcome to Lucid Tattooing + Design in Sylvan Lake, AB, while still remaining true to the roots of a traditional shop. We're a blend of old school values combined with modern day safety standards. Here at Lucid, our mission is to provide you with quality and original tattoo art combined with advanced sterilization techniques, produced in a comfortable and safe environment by professionals. Now approaching our fourth year of being open. Our tattoo studio is a sanctuary of creative self-expression and we hold a zero-attitude-policy. Each client is treated as an individual with integrity and respect.
We hold high standards, guaranteeing a safe tattoo environment. We use proper sterilization methods/practices, utilizing every available precaution to ensure that all of our clients and staff are safe. We also use only the highest quality products and equipment to produce our artwork. Our equipment is tested regularly by an outside lab to ensure everything is performing at its intended level and is opened right in front of you at the time of your appointment. Our needles are one time use only, destroyed in front of you then disposed of in a "Sharp's" container for proper removal. Full barrier control in all rooms ensures that everything we use which you may come into contact with, is properly covered to prevent cross contamination. Each station is fully sanitized after every appointment.
When you come by our shop feel free to ask for a tour and we can go over our procedures with you!
Matt Billon is a stand-up comedian who has made a huge name for himself on the comedy circuit.
Born in Prince George, B.C., Matt Billon’s childhood dreams included becoming a police officer, a comedian or a wrestler. In the early years of his comedy career, Matt wrote material based on his experiences growing up in Penticton and Nelson and quite a bit from his family, making it somewhat awkward when he would do a show locally and his family would come out to watch.
Matt Billon honed his cool-headed, deadpan delivery on the stages of Yuk Yuk’s clubs across Canada. His solid reputation for his witty, creative and unassumingly clever material has landed him feature appearances and specials on CBC’s “Madly Off in all Directions”, Much Music’s “Video on Trial”, XM Satellite Radio’s “Laugh Attack”, and his own one hour, jam packed special on “The Comedy Network”. Matt has been a finalist/winner in “The Great Canadian Laugh Off”, “Stand Up & BITE Me” and the “Seattle International Comedy Competition”
Matt Billon has been the supporting act for Pauly Shore, Doug Stanhope, Harland Williams, Tommy Chong, Rob Schneider, Tom Green and has just finished his fourth successful tour with Canadian comedic comedy legend Mike McDonald. Matt signed on with Los Angeles agency Paradigm Talent after making waves at this year’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, where he placed second in the popular Homegrown Talent Competition. His spot-on performance led to five other successful Just for Laughs shows, including Comedy Night in Canada and the ‘best of’ showcase, Talk of the Fest. The latter was attended by a slew of TV industry executives, who were impressed by his laid-back, soft-spoken style. He credits bouncing around from town to town after his parents divorced in forming that style.
In Partnership With JMA Talent
Susan Aglukark is one of Canada’s most unique and most honored artists. An Inuk from Arviat, Nunavut, Susan has been walking in a tension between two worlds, a defining note in her remarkable career.
She was a rare and exotic presence in the mainstream music world—an Inuk woman, a modern woman, a strong woman with something important to say is sometimes very rare in the entertainment industry — Susan embodied pure, graceful honesty and strength. As her songs climbed the charts, her stories and her candor about the struggles of the Inuit and Aboriginal communities, and her bravery as she opened up about her own anger and struggle won her an audience beyond that of most pop artists.
Aglukark’s musical success is even more interesting when you realize she didn’t start her career until she was 24, with no modern musical orthodoxy to draw on Aglukark was free to respond to the sounds and styles that touched or motivated or inspired her. The (real) appeal of her music is that in an era where the most popular music is often less relevant than style or mood, her lyrics are where she lives. “The songs are driven by the stories. It’s all about the stories.”
As much as she writes and sings about her people, the songs Susan Aglukark creates have something in them that speaks to all of us, whether it’s the longing of a woman growing old for the traditional life that she was taken away from, (“Bridge of Dreams”) to an gentle anthem for peace and tolerance, (“O Siem”—joy in community), Aglukark’s artistic vision is ultimately a universal one.
Susan has held command performances for:
HRH Queen Elizabeth (twice)
Canadian Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Brian Mulroney
President of France, Jacques Chirac.
Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson
Her Excellency the Countess of Wessex
Founder of the Arctic Rose Project
Arctic Inspiration Prize Selection Committee
Chair of Arctic Children and Youth Foundation (2008-2011)
Board Member of National Aboriginal Literacy Foundation (2004-2007)
Awarded the Governor Generals Order of Canada in 2005
Awarded QueenElizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal February 2012
Juno Awards (3)
First-ever Aboriginal Achievement Award in Arts & Entertainment
Canadian Country Music Association’s (CCMA) Vista Rising Star Award
Native American Music Award
Canadian Aboriginal Music Award
Honorary Degrees in Law from the University of Alberta
Honorary Degrees in Law from Calgary University
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Lethbridge University
Northerner of the Year – 1995
T. Buckley Trio
T. Buckley is a roots artist who delves into the sounds of traditional country, folk, bluegrass and rock’n roll. Whether he is performing at a folk club, casino, or festival, Buckley continues to impress audiences with his ear-catching songwriting and his eye-catching performance.
In late 2010, Buckley released his first full length album, Roll On. Immediately after its release, Roll On topped music charts in Alberta radio stations. This album includes Walkin’ Home¸ winner of the 2010 Calgary Folk Music Festival’s songwriting competition. It grabbed the attention of CBC’s notable critic, Bob Mersereau who wrote, “Roll On is filled with strong images, concise writing and memorable melodies.”
In 2011, Buckley proved himself to be a rising star on the Western Canadian roots music scene. Together with his band, they bring well-honed harmony vocals, the rockin’ sounds of electric guitar and a stage presence that won Best Performance in the 2011 Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting competition.
Critics throughout Canada see a bright future for T. Buckley:
The T. Buckley Trio is the tremendous talent to see…as their country, folk and rock and roll mix has been raising a lot of eyebrows on the roots scene lately. - Avenue Magazine (Calgary)
If T. Buckley’s songwriting prowess is an untapped secret, it won’t be for long. - FFWD Weekly
Keep an eye on T. Buckley – not long from now, we suspect you’ll have the right to brag that you saw him live, right here, near his beginnings. - South Country Fair
Buckley’s musical bloom is a beginning, a redemption, like the dawn bruising your eyes in a truck stop after midnight. - Calgary Folk Festival
Sharon & Bram
In Partnership With JMA Talent
Since 1978, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison have been pre-eminent in all aspects of family entertainment across North America as members of the trio “Sharon, Lois & Bram”. Together, the threesome produced over twenty recordings, beginning with their iconic ‘ One Elephant, Deux Elephants ‘ , three song-books, six national TV specials, sixty-five episodes of The Elephant Show, and fifty-two of Skinnamarink TV. They have appeared in every major concert hall in Canada, and many in the United States including Carnegie Hall, The Lincoln Center and the White House in Washington just to name a few. They have received countless awards, including Gold and Platinum Records and JUNO awards for Best Children’s Album. To date, they have sold over 3 Million Albums worldwide.
Sharon and Bram have carried on together since Lois Lillenstein stepped aside from live performing in 2000. This incarnation of one of North America’s most popular family acts ranges from a “sweet and simple” folksy duo performance, to a larger production featuring members of the versatile Skinnamarink Band.
“We love singing with our audiences; the sound of families singing together and the expressions of delight on the faces of parents and children as they share the music, bring us deep satisfaction”, say Sharon and Bram.
For their years of work providing the best in participatory music for children and their families, Sharon and Bram have been inducted into The Order of Canada, the highest honour in the country.
“The cheers are THUNDEROUS! The public loves them. They really are Canadian stars” – Sid Adilman, Toronto Star