Calgary Citizen Newsletter Tuesday July 2

Plus, WestJet strike soars, Ace Ventura and his new friends, water update

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Good morning !

Love it or hate it, the Calgary Stampede starts this week and things are about to get wild in Calgary. I’m actually heading out of town this week, so it’ll be the first time I won’t be around for the chaos that Stampede brings but I hope you all stay safe and have a fun time. I’ll be working from smalltown America while I explore and get some much-needed down time and I will share some pics from the road. In the meantime, here are some quick links to get you going for the Stampede. Here are the food options. Here is the music lineup. Here are some ways to save. And, here is the parade information. Yahoo—have fun—or enjoy your time away if you’re avoiding it!

Krista Sylvester, Managing Editor

👀 In today's edition:

  • YYC comic returns to comedy

  • Arson? Fire guts brewery

  • Ace Ventura becomes a “friend”

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🌧️ Today: High 20C, Low 11C. See the 7-day forecast.

🚗 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation, and find the city’s traffic report and road closures.

Local comedian reflects on fatherhood as he returns to comedy with Mischievous 

Grand Komanda is fondly referred to as Mr. Handsome. His latest comedy special recently screened in Calgary. // Motif photography

Even touring comedians slow down and take some time to enjoy daddy duty. Well, at least that’s what comedian Grand Komanda did when his second son was born in December 2023. Now the Nigerian-born comic is back at it as he reflects on being a dad.

“Fatherhood has taught me to appreciate every single day,” Komanda tells Calgary Citizen. “The milestones my kids surpass everyday fills my heart with joy. These little humans come into your life and take over everything—like absolutely everything—from my sleep to my daily routines, phones, remote, car keys, shoes and anything they can grab.”

But he says he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Fatherhood has also had a huge impact on my comedy because now I know I've got two little boys for whom I have to work extra hard. I know I've got to succeed at what I do so I can be a huge inspiration to them. They're my daily motivation,” he adds.

Komanda moved to Canada in 2019 and has since become the toast of the country with his eloquence and classic delivery of spontaneous jokes, making him highly sought after. He made a splash upon arrival, starting the first African and Nigerian Comedy Club in Canada—Sunday Night Comedy Club with Grand Komanda—before successfully staging comedy shows in Calgary, Toronto, and Edmonton. Follow him for updates on where he is next.

Related Story

Need to know

🔥 “We had to watch the whole thing go down.” Popular Ramsey brewery goes down in flames as the arson unit investigates.

✈️ WestJet has cancelled nearly 700 flights, affecting 100,000 passengers as strike enters third day of the busiest travel weekend of the season.

🚰 Calgarians saved a boatload of water, dropping water use to the lowest it has ever been as the final stage of stabilizing the water system is underway.

⛈️ Some parts of Calgary experienced flash flooding Sunday as massive storm hit the city.

🪧 Calgary mayor and council approval continues to slide, according to polls.

🏒 The Calgary Flames made some splashy yet subtle moves to kick off free agent frenzy.

🍁 Calgarians come together for Canada Day. Take a look at how they celebrated.


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Alrighty then!: Jubilations’ latest production is sure to delight fans of ’90s classics ‘Ace Ventura’ and ‘Friends’

Dallen Girard, centre, plays the roles of Ross/Ace in Jubilations’ Friends: A Parody with Ace Ventura, on until Aug. 10.

There was this popular TV show in the ’90s about six best friends who lived in their own little bubble in New York—you may have heard of it—called Friends. Everyone was familiar with the distinct quirks of Rachel, Ross, Monica, Joey, Chandler, and Phoebe and Jubilations dinner theatre brings their unmistakable personalities to life on stage with its latest production.

And spoiler alert, this show with a twist also introduces another popular character from the ’90s. Aptly named Friends: A Parody With Ace Ventura! actor Dallen Girard brings the wildly eccentric antics of pet detective Ace Ventura to life on stage and there couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for the role. Girard and the rest of the cast explore what one more episode would have been like with a special guest that no one could replicate - well, other than the 27-year-old actor who just became a first-time dad.

We spoke with Girard about the production and an opening night story he will never forget. Friends: A Parody with Ace Ventura is on at Jubilations until Aug. 10.

I heard you have quite an interesting story from the night of the premiere that resulted in you being a first-time dad!

I was sleeping and I got a call from my girlfriend and my mother-in-law around five in the morning and they were like, “She’s coming”. My girlfriend's mom flew in from the East Coast and literally as she landed, my girlfriend's water broke, and they called me. I rushed to St. Albert and I literally got there about two hours before she was born. I had to call my director Bob Cunningham and tell them so they put up two understudies. So I was gone for the Saturday and Sunday nights of opening weekend, I spent Monday and Tuesday with family and then I came back.

Tell us a bit about how you prepared for the legendary role of Ace?

I've been a fan of Jim Carrey ever since I was a little boy. At one point, I wanted to be a stand up comedian and Jim Carrey, Mike Myers and a couple others were in my repertoire. But I actually played this character first serving food. I watched the movies and also watched Jim very closely. I put it all together, served food, and then the artistic director ended up writing it into a show. The crowd really loved it even when I was just serving.

Ace is someone who gets a lot of attention from the audience, does that play into how you play the role?

When I was younger, (making audiences laugh) was the thing that got me into theatre. I did something on stage and it made the crowd laugh. And I was like, I want that every night. So when they give you something, that's when you kick it into sixth gear.

What do you hope audiences get from the show?

I hope that they just have a really great night and they're just able to forget about what's going on outside the doors. Because when I was little, I used to come here and watch shows, and when the doors shut, I always felt like whatever was out there didn't exist. We're just here and we're having a lot of fun.

Where to eat and drink

🍴 Milpa: The delicious menu consists of shareable dishes steeped in family history and an inventive Mexican-inspired cocktail menu.

🍴 Seed n Salt: Check out the new seasonal menu at this innovative spot that puts the emphasis on super foods and supporting local farmers.

🍴 The Alley: A new hybrid destination where bubble tea and unique coffee blends meet with an exclusive menu featuring handcrafted drinks and grab-and-go cafe food.

Have a food or drink suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

Things to do

🎟️ 2024 YONEX Canada Open: Support some of the greatest athletes in badminton at the 2024 YONEX Canada Open competition taking place at the WinSport Event Centre until Sunday. Enjoy free admission today (July 2), but otherwise admission is $12.

🎟️ Mexifest: Experience the vibrancy of Mexican art, culture and cuisine at this three-day event where captivating performances and live entertainment are sure to entertain guests in a festive atmosphere. Free admission on Thursday and a weekend pass is $12.

🎟️ Indigenous Elegance Arts Market & Fashion Show: This fashion show and arts market taking place at the Confluence Historic Site (Fort Calgary) on Saturday features 25 artists and 18 designers on two runways to celebrate haute couture from emerging Indigenous designers with a focus on fusing both traditional and contemporary artistry.

Have an event suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

That’s it!

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We’ll see you back here on Thursday, same time, same place!



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