Q the Arts at Hyatt Regency Calgary (Friday, Aug. 23)

Pride week starts off with an arty party at the Hyatt. The Cliks are the headliners, but Fairy Tales Presentation Society (their annual queer film festival typically runs in May), Swallow-A-Bicycle, The Garter Girls and more will also be involved. It’s an 18-plus event and tickets are available over at Eventbrite.

Russell Brand at Jubilee Auditorium (Friday, Aug. 23)

Russell Brand dressed up as Osama Bin Laden to go to work at MTVUK the day after 9/11, so it’s unsurprising that he continues to court controversy. He tells David Letterman in the above video that he’ll be going to the Middle East on his current tour, but those shows were cancelled because of safety concerns. If you want to learn more about the comedian, Esquire UK has a great profile from last month. Tickets are sold out for the show, but as always, there’s tickets floating around on secondary ticket sites.

Expo Latino at Prince’s Island Park (Friday, Aug. 23 to Sunday, Aug. 25)

It’s Expo Latino weekend and you don’t even know how to salsa. What are you going to do? Fortunately, the organizers have considered an individual like you might want to attend the festivities. The first show on the mainstage Friday is a salsa class with a former member of Cuba’s national ballet. Phew, now you’ll be ready for Eric and Kelly’s (So You Think You Can Dance Canada) salsa showcase on Saturday. Hear some of the artists you’ll hear this weekend at Prince’s Island Park in Swerve‘s playlist.

Ascending Koi Block Party (Saturday, Aug. 24)

The Edmonton Trail tattoo parlor is throwing a block party. It’s family friendly (no need to get inked if you don’t want to) and there will be live graffiti art, break dancing and DJs including Bass Caravan, who plays gypsy swing (check it out above).

Picnic in the Village at Riverwalk Plaza (Sunday, Aug. 25)
It’s a pleasant summer afternoon combination: picnic along the banks of the Bow River and then a performance of The Pirates of Penzance at Calgary Opera’s Opera in the Village. Tickets to the picnic and the opera are sold separately. You better act quick, too, as tickets are already limited for the matinee performance, Sunday.

Bonus News Story of the Weekend: Mailman arms himself with tennis racket to fend off hawks

Photo by Stuart Gradon / Calgary Herald

I don’t know if you’ve been following the ongoing saga of mail carriers vs. hawks that’s been playing out in Lake Bonavista, but Canada Post suspended service after one of its letter carriers got dive-bombed by a nesting hawk. This story dropped today that the carriers have returned, armed with tennis racquets (no hawks were hurt in the delivering of mail).

This week marks the slow return of door-to-door service.

“Usually, we have a grace period when they’re feeding,” said Tobin, armed with a black Prince Torch racket Wednesday morning. He switched from the baseball bat he used the day before because neighbours didn’t like the look of it.

Tobin, an area superintendent, and another carrier are teaming up until full service resumes when the hawks fly south for the winter.

Despite nixing their telltale satchels and ball caps Wednesday, the raptors spotted them a mile away.

“I know he doesn’t want to hurt me. He wants to scare me,” said Tobin.

Read the rest of the story over at the Calgary Herald.Jon Roe

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