John Guliak – ‘The Fisherman’

Since the advent of our new reality, and this new normal we’re all trying to convince ourselves of in a post COVID-19 world, there are a few pleasures we’re able to afford ourselves that allow us to take our minds off of the state of the world outside our homes.

One of these pleasures, for me, has been talking with the traveler and the literary, John Guliak. There’s a calming demeanor John Guliak is surrounded with in stark contrast to the chaos and mayhem of everyday life that draws me in, he’s a respectful listener and thoughtful contributor to any conversation he’s privy to, which in interesting in itself, as even as we spoke I found myself bringing myself into the conversation more that I normally would. John Guliak is just that engaging.

We discussed ‘The Fisherman’ which is a 3 song EP that’s recently found its way to John Guliak’s bandcamp site. A very thoughtful compilation of songs, starting with ‘SOS (Sum Of Survival)’ which in and of itself tells several tales of wrecked sailing vessels with no survivors. Though the metaphor of the sinking ship in relation to any adverse condition is certainly not lost on John Guliak, the fact is that he actually set out to write a song about wrecked ships without any implied political or societal implications.

But then, isn’t that the way poetry is?

The way we interpret poetry is no unlike the way someone would interpret a parable, or spiritual teaching. We apply the principles to our own lives as they pertain to our own lives. So I must then also be thankful for the introspective instrumental song that follows (Private Melville’s Vast Retreat) so that I can chew on that thought before ‘The Ballad of Roger Casement’ grabs my focus.

John Guliak’s approach to recording Private Melville’s Vast Retreat is essentially a collaborative effort. What started from a simple instrumental guitar piece grew & grew with the addition of selected respected musicians from John Guliak’s rolodex. I always know something special is coming when I learn of an instrumental song that comes from a source so well known for his lyrical contribution. It’s rare, but never disappointing.

The Ballad of Roger Casement reads like the kind of literature than my father, a literary, would have been very excited to share with 12-year-old me only to have 12-year-old me stare back blankly in confusion. I was determined not to have this happen to me again, so I admitted to John Guliak when we spoke that I spent a fair bit of time researching Roger Casement before our conversation. The many tales of one of the Ireland’s bravest heroes and civil rights advocates being praised, and eventually cast
aside for treason and targeted for his private life.

And there I go, drawing historic and poetic parallels to modern life again.

Stylistically, John Guliak brings a lot with him wherever he goes, and has been given many flattering comparisons to icon writers of several genres over the years. To demonstrate that, he’s applied his writing style to 3 different genres, for 3 different EPs to be released gradually throughout 2020. This collection of songs is called ‘The Fisherman’ and we can anticipate ‘The Farmer’ later this summer, and ‘The Fool’ to follow. This falls somewhere between releasing a full album and releasing a series of singles. Three parts. 3 movements. But with enough support, we can anticipate a formal release of all three on vinyl in the future as well.

We’re fortunate to have challenging and thoughtful songwriters in this community. This is an ideal time to dig into the catalogues of the musicians we have here, and perhaps become inspired.

‘The Fisherman’ is an excellent place to start.

FatDave Johnston

Priority Shopping for Seniors and those with Limited Mobility:


We are compiling a list of shops that are opening their doors at specific hours to help those that are more vulnerable and not able to stock up on necessities as well as others.

Local Meats Leduc Ltd: Thursday March 19 from 8am – 10am
They will have fresh soups, meals, meats and more in stock.
#6-4922-51 Ave Leduc

Wholesale Liquidators: Thursday March 19 from 10am – 1pm
14715-131 Ave

No Frills (Matt & Ashley’s) : 7:30am – 8:30am every Tuesday & Thursday
11405- 40th Ave

Sobey’s: various locations

Throwback Thursday: The Whyte Wolf is always on the prowl!

You have probably seen him at either one of your shows or at one you were attending. You will find him in the crowd, on the stools, crouching, climbing… anything to get that perfect shot of the talent on the stage. This Thursday, we recognize Richard of Whyte Wolf Photography for the work he does with us! Check out the videos below to see for yourself! (Feature photo by Joy Johnston)

Keeping With The Current

8 Events To Ring In The New Year!

1: Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s Black Tie Affair
A new decade awaits! Toast to powerful new beginnings and celebrate in style as we ring in 2020 at Edmonton’s most celebrated landmark, located in the heart of downtown. Enjoy live DJ entertainment along with a reception style buffet, sparkling wine on arrival, and a glass of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne to toast at midnight, plus more. This is a New Year’s Eve party you won’t want to miss!


2. Urban Tavern’s Comedy Gala and Dinner
You’ve got options with this one!
If you love to laugh, you will not be short on that with this trio of stellar comedians! Your first option of the evening includes a dinner with comedic entertainment. Followed by your second option, which is to dance and socialize with DJ Ferd on deck, spinning your favorite tunes. Both options include champagne and party favors to ring in the new year!

Because a ticket guarantees your entry, there are limited tickets available, so get yours asap HERE!

3. World Waterpark Presents: Family Beach Ball!
Looking for something to do with the family? Welcome 2020 by celebrating in a tropical indoor environment filled with food, fun and fireworks! Splash in the wave pool and speed down the slides right into 2020! The incredible evening wraps up with a spectacular indoor fireworks show!

Tickets available HERE!

4. Mad Bomber Society Rocks The Black Dog
Mad Bomber Society is an Edmonton icon for ska! The bring the party to the whole room, with wild antics on and off the stage, jumping into the crowds, surfing the bars and tables and they do it all without skipping a beat.

Tickets available at The Black Dog and Freecloud Records

5. New Years Eve Murder Mystery Party at the Craft & Cork
Ring in the 2020s with a night filled with fun, friends….and murder! 
Craft and Cork is proud to present a 1920s themed Murder Mystery event on Dec 31st. Dress up and take on the role of a 1920s Crime Boss, Silent Film Star, Speak Easy Waitress, Nightclub Singer, Mob Enforcer, Baseball Player, Novelist and More! 

Tickets available HERE!

6. The NYE Ball with Frank Sinatra at Hally’s Club
The countdown to 2020 feature’s the world’s most requested Frank Sinatra Mr. Gary Anthony direct from Las Vegas alongside the incredible Million Dollar Dreamers Big Band.

Purchase your tickets HERE!

7. New Years Eve “Return Of The 20’s” at Bohemia
Bohemia artist of the year Mitch for Mayor pops the bubbly on the end of 2019. Super special guests Escape Goat and Grandpa’s Medicine promise to make this night a proper party. Not much other way to put it except just straight cut, good old fashioned fun.

Tickets available here!

8. Astral Harvest Appreciation NYE Party :: Ft. Botnek at the Starlite Room!
Join us at The Starlite Room on New Years Eve as we celebrate one of Canada’s most sought after music festivals…. ASTRAL HARVEST!!! Tears will be shed and times will be had!! So lets send them off in proper astral fashion and reminisce of 12 years of amazing moments that shaped all of our lives in one way or another!! This will be a THREE room banger where we each room will be an Astral Harvest stage! Starlite will be the “Interstellevator” Temple will be “Wakah Chan” and Revival will be “Axis Mundi Theatre” / “Mystic Beach” each room with a rocken lineup!!

Tickets available HERE!

Keeping With The Current

#ABArtsMatter – Why it’s important!

‘The Arts’ is more than just paint, pencils and canvas, it is a massive index of industries that expand into cultural and creative outlets, ranging from advertising/marketing, music, IT, sciences, design, architecture, film, galleries, museums, libraries, performing, visual arts and more!

So, what is the point of posting and sharing through #ABArtsMatter? The simple answer is awareness. Recognizing what each individual artist can bring and understanding the economic impact they have on everything else.
Every artist, band, arts support program, etc, is run like a business. Each, an entrepreneur of their trade, trading their services and craft for financial gain, just like any storefront or business platform out there.
We also have to remember that the galleries don’t fill themselves, the music doesn’t write itself, the plays and films don’t act and produce themselves… there are a lot of people involved into making these all a possibility.
Then there is the effect they have on other businesses as well. For instance, that band that is playing at your local venue is bringing business to that venue by having people come in and enjoy their music while consuming what the venue has to offer in beverages and food. Or that play, at the Citadel or Shadow theatre! How about visiting one of the hundreds of festivals that take place year round. Think of how many people are employed based around the entertainment sector of the arts.
This list goes on. We can talk about the tourism appeal, the IT and science use of creative industry, the architecture, education, etc. The point is that ‘The Arts’ is a much needed and utilized industry that deserves to keep its funding to create more outlets of income especially in a time where it seems jobs are becoming more limited.

The Alberta Arts Industry matters! Now we have to work together to make sure that everyone else knows that too.