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Calgary-based producers team up with Ridley Scott, Trades in Saskatchewan becoming a hot commodity, Edmonton’s getting Oprah, and Winnipeg may say goodbye to another downtown hotel.

images Ridley Scott teams up with Calgary-based producers for mini-series

The Calgary producers behind AMC’s Hell on Wheels strike gold. Chad Oakes and Mike Frislev of Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures partner up with renowned director Ridley Scott for a mini-series entitled Klondike. It will tell the story of the gold-rush fever that took place circa 1890. The two have been named co-producers for The Discovery Channel’s first scripted project that is based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich.

“This fits for Alberta perfectly,” said Oakes. “It fits for our locale. It fits into what we do best. We do epic period miniseries and features very well in Calgary.”

Nomadic Pictures’ Oakes and Frislev are no strangers to being involved with a mini-series. The two worked on the Emmy-winning series Broken Trail, which like the gritty western Hell on Wheels, was also produced for AMC. Hell on Wheels begins shooting its third season in Alberta next year.while Klondike will begin shooting there this March and go until June.

Hell on Wheels Trailer:



Unknown-2Saskatchewan’s Trades Industry growing

With so many baby boomers skilled in the trades nearing retirement, it is an industry about to see another boom. Jeff Ritter who heads up the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission says registration has gone up 43.4 %. Numbers that were 6,779 in June 2007 jumped up to 9,724 at the end of last June.

There is new outlook on the trades industry. It is no longer considered a consolation prize for those that didn’t take the road leading to University. Recent statistics shows that apprentices who register with the commission have fallen in age from 29-27. These statistics tell Ritter, who, as of Sept 1 became the CEO of the commission, that on average more young people are now choosing trades than ever before.

Ritter says, “Apprenticeship is the oldest system of training that there is. It goes back centuries and revolves around a young apprentice learning his (or, increasingly, her) craft from a master.”


images-2 Oprah kicks off motivational tour in Edmonton

If you regret never jetting off to the Windy City to sit in the audience for a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show, fear not.  Oprah Winfrey is setting off on a Canadian tour titled An Evening with Oprah Winfrey and it kicks off at Edmonton’s Rexall Place on January 21st.

Andy McCreath of Calgary-based tinePublic Inc., said that tickets for this event were sold out instantly in Calgary, and while a few more tickets were released for Oprah’s stopover in Vancouver, they are sure to go fast.

“It’s really the chance of a lifetime for people in Edmonton to be able to see her,” said McCreath. “She has touched so many people’s lives.”

This one-night-only event will have Oprah sharing stories and insights from her life hope to inspire others to take control of theirs and strive for their full potential. Each show in every city will close with a question-and-answer session after her talk. After 25 years as a beloved TV persona Oprah Winfrey is stepping back into the limelight again with Oprah’s Next Chapter.

Tickets for next month’s event will go on sale as of Saturday through Ticketmaster and range from $89 to $299.

Oprah’s Next Chapter w/ Jamie Foxx:



Carlton Motor Hotel Postcard day

Winnipeg’s downtown Carlton Inn has seen better days.

The Carlton Inn in downtown Winnipeg may very soon be checking out. It has been around for decades and while it has seen better days, it is now known for violent incidents. After it was approved by city council, CentreVenture was given an extended credit of $6.6 million that could be used to buy out the long-standing property. CentreVenture recently bought out the St. Regis, which is also part of a grander plan to revitalize downtown.

Mayor Sam Katz says that CentreVenture feels that they could make downtown safer by getting rid of hotels such as the Carlton and the St. Regis.

“You can talk to the police and there are things going on there which are not what you and I would call lawful to say the least,” says Katz.

Some like Counselor Russ Wyatt of Transcona are against this plan, he thinks, CentreVenture is trying to do too much too soon and that they should work within their existing credit line, the city’s finance chair also voted against this decision.



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

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