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Demands for inquest after husband’s death at Winnipeg Remand Centre

WINNIPEG – The wife of a man who died after suffering an epileptic seizure while in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre says facility staff denied her husband his epilepsy medication in the days leading up to his death.

Rochelle Pranteau was on the phone with her 26-year-old common-law husband Errol Greene from the institution when he began slipping into a seizure May 1.

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“He said he could feel the numbing feeling in his hands, and his jaw started locking and grinding and then he could hardly talk,” said Pranteau, 27, who has three children with Greene and is pregnant with a fourth. “Usually I can stop it when I’m face-to-face with him … but because I wasn’t there physically, I couldn’t stop it.

“I heard him fall, and then the phone dropped and was just dangling there.”

Pranteau said she listened helplessly for 20 minutes while guards and inmates responded.

“I could hear (the guards) throw him on his stomach and put cuffs on him … You could tell he was struggling for his breath. He was on his stomach and it sounded like a guard was on him,” said Pranteau. “They were trying to tell Errol to calm down, but how could he calm down? He’s having his episode, let him have it.”

Manitoba Justice said Greene was taken to hospital where he died. The department is investigating.

Greene was taken into custody the evening of April 29 for breaching a probation order not to consume alcohol. He had been out on bail awaiting trial for a mischief under $5,000 charge.

Pranteau said Greene told her remand centre staff denied him his epilepsy medicine — which he took three times a day to ward off seizures — from the time he arrived at the institution.

The president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union, which represents remand centre staff, expressed sympathy to Greene’s family and said the union will encourage its members to participate in the investigation.

“I think it’s important for everyone to withhold judgment on what happened until all the facts are known,” said Michelle Gawronsky in a statement.

A spokesperson for Manitoba Justice would not say whether Greene was refused his medication, citing privacy legislation, but said inmates sometimes need to see institutional doctors before medication is approved.

“If the offender is on medication and it can be verified, generally it is continued. If the medication cannot be verified through community health-care providers or if there are any potential issues, the offender is booked to see the institutional physician,” the department said in a statement.

“A contract physician attends each business day. Offenders waiting to see the institutional physician may be monitored in a correctional centre medical unit if needed, based on their condition.”

The department wouldn’t say whether Greene, who was arrested on Friday and died Sunday, was waiting until the next business day to see an institutional doctor.

Pranteau is demanding an inquest to determine why her husband was not allowed to take his medicine and to find out exactly where and when he died. Inmates have told her paramedics pronounced Greene dead at the remand centre around 3 p.m., but officials told Pranteau he died several hours later in hospital.

“So what is the story? Did he die at the hospital or did he die at the remand centre? It’s not matching up,” she asked. “I want to know what happened to him, every damn detail.”

Mark O’Rourke, director of the office of the chief medical examiner, said the investigation will determine whether an inquest will be held. An inquest is only mandatory when a person in custody dies “as a result of a violent act, undue means, or suddenly of unexpected cause,” he said.

“We’re still in the process of investigating,” he said. “It’ll take us several months. When the report’s done, we’ll review our file and we’ll be in a position to make a decision.”

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California wildfire destroys 4 homes as crews battle the blaze and heat

LOWER LAKE, Calif. – Flames racing through dry brush destroyed at least four homes and forced more than 1,000 people to flee a northern California lake community that was evacuated in a devastating wildfire last year.

Authorities ordered about 1,200 residents to leave 500 homes as the blaze surged south of the town of Lower Lake. The wildfire spread to more than 2 square miles by early Sunday, and crews faced hot weather and little cloud cover as they tried to get a handle on the flames burning largely out of control.

“The fire activity could change in a moment’s notice right now,” said Suzie Blankenship, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

WATCH: Coverage of the wildfires in California

Helicopters battle wildfires near San Bernardino County, California


Helicopters battle wildfires near San Bernardino County, California


Roads help cut off devastating wildfire near Big Sur, California


Aerial footage shows extent of wildfire in drought-ravaged California


‘Very extreme fire behaviour’: 1 dead, thousands evacuated as California wildfires rage


Sand canyon wildfire continues in California


Video shows massive wildfire spreading in Santa Clarita, California


Amateur video shows wildfire burning out of control in California


Deadly wildfire burns houses in California

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Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said more evacuations were ordered Sunday afternoon in the Copsey Creek subdivision, east of Lower Lake.

More than 700 firefighters are battling the 2-square-mile wildfire burning east and southeast of Highway 29 in Lake County, and many more are expected to join the fight throughout the day, he said.

The fire was throwing embers and spreading rapidly because of parched conditions brought on by the state’s historic drought, officials said. Large, explosive fires have torn through dried-out or hard-to-reach areas across California this summer, including a stubborn blaze near the picturesque Big Sur coastline that has burned 113 square miles since late July and destroyed nearly 60 homes.

READ MORE: 5,300 homes evacuated as California wildfire surges

Californians braced for heat Sunday, with high temperatures expected to soar 10 degrees above normal in the southern part of the state. Some counties in far Northern California also were warned of gusty winds and increased fire danger, officials said.

In Lake County, the fire threatened the houses of an additional 3,000 people in Hidden Valley Lake, a subdivision south of the blaze, and they have been told to stay vigilant in case they need to evacuate, Blankenship said.

Danielle Colbeck, 36, saw the flames from her home Saturday and decided to get out. She told the Press Democrat newspaper in Santa Rosa that she loaded her car with her two cats and important papers and headed to a friend’s house.

“When you see black smoke and flame from your driveway, you don’t want to take a chance,” said Colbeck, who lost her rental home and all of her belongings in the massive fire that evacuated Lower Lake last year.

READ MORE: More homes evacuated as California wildfire continues surge

That blaze killed four people and destroyed more than 1,300 homes. It was considered California’s third-most-destructive wildfire after ravaging most of rural Lake County and parts of Napa County about 90 miles north of San Francisco. A report issued this week concluded that faulty wiring in a hot tub ignited the 120-square-mile fire.

Another blaze that broke out Saturday afternoon forced the evacuation of 135 homes south of Lake Nacimiento in central California, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office said. It burned more than 2 square miles, but no homes have been lost, and it’s partially contained.

In the south, residents were readying for a heat wave. Temperatures were expected to reach triple digits in valley areas north of Los Angeles, stoking an increased risk of wildfires in inland regions through at least Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

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Surrey mother talks to IIO about son’s death

The mother of 20-year-old Hudson Brooks of Surrey, is still in shock over learning from the Independent Investigations Office this week, that he died in moments after coming in contact with police.

“You can’t just kill him at close range,” said Brook’s mom Jennifer.

Early in the morning of July 18 last year, Brooks was heard  yelling and wandering down 18th Avenue towards the South Surrey RCMP station.

The IIO told his mom how the last moments of his life played out.

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“He then proceeded to bang on the hood of the police car screaming ‘help,’ two officers walked behind the car, Hudson ran up to them completely unarmed,” Jennifer said.

“An officer opened fire and shot him at close range.”

READ MORE: Rally held for man fatally shot by Surrey RCMP in 2015

She says his son wasn’t wearing shoes or a shirt at the moment of the incident.

For the past year  family and friends have held protests demanding answers as to why police fired on Brooks instead of restraining him.

The IIO could not give the answer, because the officer who shot Brooks has not have provided a statement.

“If you as an officer shoot and kill a young unarmed man, you should be demanded to make a statement,” Jennifer said.

The RCMP member who witnessed the shooting is required to provide the IIO with a statement. But the subject officer who pulled the trigger, does not.

READ MORE: Few answers into deadly police shooting of Hudson Brooks

“Subject officers do sometimes, they do provide us with a voluntary statement. They do sometimes come in for an interview but that is their own decision, that’s the purview,” Marten Yussef, IIO Spokesperson said.

“We cannot compel subject officers to testify, only the courts are able to do that.”

Youssef also confirmed that even the RCMP’s own incident report about the shooting is not legally required to be handed over to investigators.

“How did this happen? I want that officer charged. I want that officer charged because this is not OK . I will never ever, ever, have my son back.”

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Richard Henry Bain trial: No verdict on Day 2 of deliberations for Quebec 2012 election shooting

There will be a third day of deliberations in the trial of the man charged in Quebec’s 2012 election-night shooting, as the jury concluded its work without reaching a verdict on Sunday.

READ MORE: Richard Henry Bain trial: Judge tells jurors they’ll deliberate four of six charges

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  • Richard Henry Bain trial: No verdict on day 1 of deliberations

    Richard Henry Bain closing arguments

  • Richard Henry Bain trial: Evidence complete at trial of accused election night shooter

    Richard Henry Bain, 65, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of stagehand Denis Blanchette, as well as three counts of attempted murder.

    The charges against Bain are connected to events outside the Metropolis nightclub as then-premier designate Pauline Marois was inside celebrating the Parti Quebecois‘ election win.

    READ MORE: Richard Henry Bain trial: Psychiatrist who assessed Bain says he was ‘likely’ psychotic night of shooting

    The five men and seven women on the jury spent all weekend weighing a case that hinges on Bain’s mental state on the night of the Sept. 4, 2012, shooting.

    Bain has pleaded not guilty to the charges – his lawyer has argued his client was mentally ill at the time and should be found not criminally responsible for his actions.

    But the Crown has argued Bain was of sound mind and that the shooting was premeditated and triggered by his anger over the Parti Quebecois election victory.

    READ MORE: Richard Henry Bain trial: Crown asks jury to find accused guilty in election-night slaying

    The jury will resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Monday morning.

    WATCH: Richard Henry Bain in court.

    Richard Henry Bain closing arguments


    Richard Henry Bain closing arguments


    Richard Henry Bain cross-examined


    Richard Henry Bain explains ‘vision’


    Richard Henry Bain has ‘no memory’ of attack


    Richard Henry Bain testimony continues


    Richard Henry Bain testifies


    Richard Henry Bain trial begins


    Richard Henry Bain in court

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Nova Scotia farmers welcome rain after struggling with dry conditions

Following a significant period of hot and dry conditions, rain finally fell in Nova Scotia on Sunday.

“It’s a million dollar rain. It’s fantastic,” said Ted Hutten, co-owner of Hutten Family Farm in Lakeville, N.S.

“All I can say is, ‘Praise the Lord,’” said Phil Daniels, owner of Daniel’s U-Pick, a farm in Windsor Forks, N.S., where customers pick apples off trees themselves.

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READ MORE: Nova Scotians struggle with dried-up wells

Over the past week, the dry spell has caused problems with firefighting, salmon populations, and wells.

“Not in my memory in the last three decades have I seen a summer like this, in this community at least,” said Hutten.

He said he’s lost somewhere between 10-20 per cent of some crop varieties and up to a 50 per cent loss in production.

“I don’t know anyone in the valley in this business that has not been dealing with a lot of stresses. There’s a lot of financial stress that comes with it,” said Hutten.

READ MORE: Dry weather makes for extremely low water levels in Halifax-area lakes, rivers

Daniels said that about 15 of the more than 200 trees he planted this year have died due to the dry conditions. Some trees that are decades old have also suffered.

“This is my livelihood. You know, I go ten months of the year with no money, basically,” he said.

The farm opens to the public next weekend, and an expectation things will get better is still alive.

“That’s what farming is all about, is having faith. You’ve got to have faith or you’re just going to be a nervous wreak,” said Daniels.

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Tulowitzki and Martin hit back-to-back homers to lead Blue Jays past Astros 9-2

TORONTO – Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning leading the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-2 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon.

The victory moves the Blue Jays a season-high 16 games above .500. Toronto (67-51) has now won five of their last six series, going 12-7 in that stretch.

The Astros (61-57) have dropped consecutive games after winning four straight on the road.

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Tulowitzki put Mike Fiers’ fastball into the second deck at Rogers Centre for a two-run home run giving the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead.

Martin followed it up by taking Fiers’ first pitch yard for his 10th homer of the season – it marks the seventh time this season the Blue Jays have hit back-to-back home runs.

Martin’s long ball knocked Fiers (8-6) from the game. The Astros starter went 4 2/3 innings allowing five earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven.

Marcus Stroman (9-5) tossed six innings of one-run ball before allowing a solo shot to Jason Castro to lead off the seventh.

The 25-year-old right-hander went 6 1/3 innings allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out eight in the win.

Martin showed off his defensive game in the seventh, leaning into the Astros dugout to grab an Alex Bregman foul ball for the second out of the inning.

Edwin Encarnacion gave the Blue Jays a 6-2 lead, hitting a solo home run off of Luke Gregerson in the seventh.

The homer ties Encarnacion with Baltimore’s Mark Trumbo for the Major League lead (33).

Toronto put up another three spot in the eighth, increasing its lead to seven.

Melvin Upton Jr. delivered an RBI single and later scored while Josh Donaldson was issued a bases loaded walk by Astros reliever James Hoyt.

The Blue Jays got to Fiers early, taking a 1-0 lead on Tulowitzki’s RBI single in the first.

The veteran shortstop finished the day 3-for-4 with three runs batted in.

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa extended his hit streak to a career-best 10 games with a leadoff single in the second, and later scored on a Stroman throwing error tying the game 1-1.

Darrell Ceciliani’s RBI double in the fourth gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead.

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Cranbrook veteran honoured with France’s highest award

Lee Brown could hardly contain his excitement as he walked in to the Cranbrook branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“War is not a pleasant thing but I made it and people are treating me like royalty now,” said the 90-year old Second World War veteran, right before he received France’s highest award.

“It’s a big deal and well deserved,” Brown’s son-in-law Grant Stuart said.

Brown joined the military at 17 in 1943.

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Based in England as a tail gunner in a Lancaster bomber during the Second World War, he flew 33 missions with the Canadian Air Force over France and Germany.

But it’s the one Brown missed, he’ll never forget.

READ MORE: Memories of D-Day still clear in the mind of WWII veteran

“My crew was shot down and I lost them,” Brown said.

On Saturday, Brown was presented with the highest French order for military and civil merits, at a ceremony at his local legion.

He is one of the more than 1000 Canadian Second World War veterans who are finally receiving the Legion of Honour after the French government decided to bestow the award on all living veterans who helped liberate France in 1944.

“They put their life at risk. Many died to save our freedom. We never forget what they did,” Antoine Mention, the Deputy Consul of France in Vancouver, said.

Having Brown officially named to the national order of the Legion of Honour involved a lengthy application process that allowed his family to unearth some of his war stories – and better understand his past.

READ MORE: WWII medals stolen during break and enter in Surrey

“I think he’s like many that just didn’t share what they did and this has given him the chance and freedom and comfort to share,” Brown’s daughter Cynthia Stuart said.

Brown was moved that the French consulate delivered the honour in person, “I’ve never felt like this in years.”

After losing his buddies in a 1944 airfight, Brown joined another bomber crew for the remainder of the war. More than 70 years later, the memories are still fresh.

“I believe now I’m the only one left,” he said. “Every day something goes through your mind. You can’t help it, even when you wake up in the morning…I know we did our job and lived and that’s it.”

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Community comes together for Neville-Lake memorial in King City

Friends, family and community members gathered together on Sunday to pay tribute to the Neville-Lake family.

On Sept. 27 2015, Daniel, Harry and Milly Neville-Lake as well as their grandfather, Gary Neville, were killed in an impaired driving collision.

Jennifer Stallman, the creator of the Facebook page “Entertain Kids on a Dime,” reached out to Jennifer Neville-Lake shortly after the incident offering her support.

“Jen was a member of my group. I reached out to her after the event happened,” Stallman said.

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“It was so tragic… we just wanted to find a way to help her, support her, celebrate her and tell her we are here and we want to celebrate the lives of your family.”

READ MORE: Hundreds show support at vigil for family devastated by deadly Ontario crash

The group raised money to create a permanent memorial at a nearby park in King City.

Four trees with individualized plaques and a park bench have been installed at Kettle Lake Park as a tribute to the children and their grandfather.

“I really hope [this event] could change a few people and make them think twice about drinking responsibly, I feel like we’ve done something good today,” Stallman said.

Jennifer and Edward Neville-Lake did not attend Sunday’s event, but they sent a letter expressing their gratitude to the community.

In March, Marco Muzzo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the drunk driving crash.

READ MORE: Marco Muzzo: 10 years in prison for drunk driving crash that killed 3 kids, grandfather

It’s been almost a year since the horrific crash, but police say impaired driving continues to happen across the province.

Ontario Provincial Police tweeted on Saturday that 41 impaired driving charges were laid by officers over a 24-hour period.

“I’m shocked and constantly horrified by the numbers that we see every weekend,” York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle said.

“We are seeing continuous impaired drivers being arrested and it’s very disappointing.”

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Mother: Milwaukee shooting victim was 23-year-old black man

MILWAUKEE – The man whose shooting by Milwaukee police triggered hours of violent protests on the city’s predominantly black north side was a 23-year-old black man and father to a toddler, his mother said Sunday.

WATCH: Violence in Milwaukee as protesters take to streets over police involved shooting

Mildred Haynes told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that her son, Sylville Smith, was killed by police Saturday. A Milwaukee police spokesman did not immediately respond to messages from an Associated Press reporter seeking confirmation of the man’s identity.

READ MORE: Milwaukee officials call for calm after unrest over police shooting

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A distraught Haynes told the newspaper that police have told her little about her son’s death.

“My son is gone due to the police killing my son,” she said Sunday. “I am lost.”

Police say a man fled during a Saturday traffic stop and that he was carrying a weapon. It’s unclear whether he pointed the gun at officers before being shot several times.

Smith was accused in a shooting last year and charged with recklessly endangering safety, a felony. Smith was subsequently accused of pressuring the victim to recant statements that identified him as the gunman and was charged with trying to intimidate a witness, he newspaper reported.

It’s unclear why both charges were dropped.

WATCH: Mayor of Milwaukee discusses police involved shooting and subsequent violence

He also pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon in 2014. Smith was cited for driving without a license or insurance, speeding and driving with open intoxicants earlier this year. Court records identify Smith as black.

Smith’s death sparked explosive protests in northern Milwaukee, a town of 600,000 where roughly 40 per cent of residents are black. At least four businesses were burned down in the protests that stretched into Sunday morning, leading Gov. Scott Walker to activate National Guard troops in case violence persists.

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What’s it like to volunteer at the Edmonton fringe festival? Ask this 35-year veteran

Heidi Collins-McCann was just 16 years old the first time she volunteered at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in 1982. Fast-forward 35 years and she is still just as dedicated – if not more – as she was on day one.

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  • Not-for-profit hopes Edmonton Fringe performance will help rebuild crumbling theatre

  • Edmonton 2016 summer festivals and events

    Edmonton Fringe Festival hoping for record crowds in 2016

    “I keep people’s spirits up if they’re having a bad day. I try and cheer them up or if there’s something going wrong and they just need to vent to somebody, like we all do, it’s like, ‘OK, let’s go into my office, which is the volunteer patio.’”

    WATCH: Edmonton International Fringe Festival reviews

    The fringe festival board gave Collins-McCann the honourary title of “Den Mother” about six years ago. She started volunteering in the first place to gain extra credit in high school.

    “Looking back, we didn’t know what we were doing,” she recalled of the 1982 festival with a smile. “It was Brian Paisley and a core of about 10 volunteers and that’s how we ran the first fringe… We did everything.”

    Heidi Collins-McCann, AKA “Den Mother,” was just 16 when she started volunteering at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in 1982. Now, 35 years later, she’s still going strong.

    Courtesy, Heidi Collins-McCann

    Heidi Collins-McCann, AKA “Den Mother,” was just 16 when she started volunteering at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in 1982. Now, 35 years later, she’s still going strong.

    Courtesy, Heidi Collins-McCann

    Heidi Collins-McCann, AKA “Den Mother,” was just 16 when she started volunteering at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in 1982. Now, 35 years later, she’s still going strong.

    Courtesy, Heidi Collins-McCann

    Heidi Collins-McCann, AKA “Den Mother,” was just 16 when she started volunteering at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in 1982. Now, 35 years later, she’s still going strong.

    Courtesy, Heidi Collins-McCann

    Heidi Collins-McCann, AKA “Den Mother,” was just 16 when she started volunteering at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in 1982. Now, 35 years later, she’s still going strong.

    Courtesy, Heidi Collins-McCann

    And when she says everything, she isn’t kidding. Collins-McCann recalled a time when the volunteers had to bring hay into the arts barn.

    “That first year we had an infestation of mice everywhere so we learned not only how to clean up but how to catch mice.”

    READ MORE: By the numbers: a closer look at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival

    From 25 shows in five venues in 1982 to more than 1,600 performances in over 40 venues in 2016, the festival has flourished to become North America’s largest fringe festival. And it wouldn’t be possible without the help of more than 1,200 dedicated volunteers.

    “We all get together and we do it for the love of theatre,” Collins-McCann said. “We’re usually here by 8:30 in the morning and we leave by about 1 (a.m.). So we do about a 16-hour day for 11 days and I’ve done that since the first fringe.”

    Watch below: ‘This is the craziest Saturday ever’: 35th annual Edmonton fringe festival sees great attendance in first weekend

    For Collins-McCann, that amounts to about 6,160 hours – or nearly three years – of full-time work over her 35 years of service. So what keeps her coming back year after year? (after year, after year…).

    “It becomes like a big family reunion every year,” she said. “Seeing volunteers come back and say, ‘I had a blast last year.’ Or, ‘thank you for helping me, what you did last year was phenomenal. I was down and having a bad day and you helped me.’”

    READ MORE: Edmonton International Fringe Festival show ratings and live eye cam

    Plus, the inclusivity and family-friendly atmosphere of the fringe is a huge draw for the Den Mother.

    “For me, just sitting back and seeing the smiles on the families’ faces when they’re watching their kids experience something for the first time… It’s nice to step back and watch that.”

    The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival runs in Old Strathcona until Aug. 21.

    Watch below: Here’s a look at the 2016 fringe shows Todd James has reviewed so far

    Edmonton fringe reviews: ‘Call Me Kirk’ & ‘Radio Star’


    Edmonton fringe reviews: ‘Call Me Kirk’ & ‘Radio Star’


    Edmonton Fringe Festival reviews: ‘Cowboy: A Cowboy Story’ and ‘Big Bayou Black’


    Edmonton fringe festival reviews: ‘Lolita a Three Man Show’ and ‘The Guitar Teacher, an Arctic Romance’


    Fringe reviews: ‘Working’


    Fringe 2016 Preview

    Follow @CaleyRamsay

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