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Calgary skier conquers mountain, Edmonton gets a Beatle, Saskatchewan reins in horse racing, and Winnipeg revives The Met


Calgary’s John Kucera comes  in 14th at Lake Louise on Sunday

It was a great comeback story this weekend for Calgary’s John Kucera. Just three years ago, the downhill world champion left the Winterstart World cup by helicopter to Banff Springs Hospital with a compound fracture and bone poking through the skin on his left leg. He underwent major surgery.

Kucera breathed deep and faced his demons this past Saturday, rocketing down the mountain in the 2012 Winterstart World Cup at Lake Louise.  He finished 34th in the Men’s downhill and on Sunday he placed 14th in the men’s super-G.  Not bad would be an understatement considering he competed against the world’s best skiers.

“Specifically John Kucera’s result today is really, really exciting for us,” said Alpine Canada president Max Gartner. “If you know ski racing — three years away from ski racing and going back to the same mountain where you break your leg the way he did — that’s just an amazing, amazing accomplishment.




Edmonton welcomes Sir Paul McCartney

Maybe Sir Paul McCartney will be amazed by how Beatlemania is still alive and well as he makes his first appearance in Edmonton this week. From November 26-29, Edmonton’s City Hall will be decked out in British themed décor and Beatles memorabilia.

The festivities kick off on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. with a Scotch and British Beer tasting at Sir Winston Churchill Square in the Three Bananas Café. A Beatles/Paul McCartney Mini Film Festival will follow at 7 p.m. in city hall where fans can get a sneak peek of the new McCartney film “Live Kisses.”

City hall will cap off the Paulappalooza with a celebration in his honor entitled “Come Together” where a Beatles cover band will perform live.  All this is just a precursor to his two concerts Wednesday and Thursday night at the Rexall center.

Live Kisses film trailer:




 Saskatchewan axes funding for horse racing

Saskatchewan holds their horses or at least its funding back for live racing. Brad Wall announced back in September that Saskatchewan would no longer fund Standardbred racing. Glen Le Drew, the president of the Saskatchewan Standardbred Horse Association said that announcement devastated hundreds of people whose livelihood depends on it.

“Our only opportunity to survive is to get back our Hull Market Area we once had at Queensbury Downs in Regina, which closed in 2002,” said Le Drew.

A Hull Market Area license lets racetracks operate off track betting through a variety of channels. The revenue earned from that process can be used to help fund live racing, explains Le Drew. With the Queensbury Downs being closed, Saskatoon is the only place in the province with a hull market area. Two years ago, Regina opened up West Meadows Raceway and breathed new life into the racing culture in the southern part of the province.

Saskatchewan will see no live racing in 2013 unless West Meadows Raceway is successful with the hull market area license they applied for.



Winnipeg unveils a revived Met on November 30

It was a place where many went to see their favourite silver-screen stars, and was given a gold star when it came down to its fine architecture. When the Metropolitan Theatre closed its doors in 1987, it was the end of an era, but, now, with it opening its doors later this week, it is the beginning of another.

The old theatre has been given a $16-million renovation, heritage restoration, and expansion and is being referred to as a multi-function event space. Canada Inns bought the venue from CentreVenture for $100,000 in 2006. The downtown development agency also helped Canada Inns secure $3-million worth of grants from the city and province for the project.

The redeveloped Met will have cabaret seating and will not be in competition with other theatres such as the Burton, Pantages, and the Centennial Concert Hall, which all still have stadium seating. Leo Ledohowski, company president and chairman says the space may be used for high school graduations, cabaret style concerts, and to show vintage movies, and Winnipeg Jets games.

Canada Inns have sent out invitations for the official unveiling on November 30.



Chadd Cawson is an intern at Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @ChaddCawson

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