Skirts a Fire!

Over this weekend, there was a festival happening in Edmonton called SkirtsaFire run by the ever so cool Annette Loiselle. I had never heard of it until I saw on The Twitter that my favourite radio station, Sonic, had retweeted the event. The event, which is in its third year, is about empowering and celebrating women in the arts. I was 100% sold when I saw there was going to be yoga in the morning at an art gallery.

Heck yes, sign me up.

My friend, Emily, who’s up for anything and everything, picked me up nice and early and off we went to the Nina Haggerty art gallery. There were three classes back to back to back and it was decided the night before that Emily and I were going to stick it out for all three. The three classes were all different:

  1. Sattva, which is 100% my jam.
  2. Vinyasa Flow, constant movement.
  3. Gentle Hatha, holding poses for longer.

Skirts a fireI put my legs up in the air sometimes, sayin’ aaaye-o, check out this art-o.

During the yoga sessions, cellist Kathleen de Caen was there doing her groove thang whilst we stretched. I had never done yoga to music before and let me tell you, it’s going to be hard to go back to Non-Musical Yoga. Loved every second of it. Especially with someone as talented as her.

After the three lovely hours of yoga, which I am still feeling today, Emily and I popped on over to an amazing gem of a cafe called The Carrot for some chai and live music via Skirtsafire called The Key of She. Annette kept mentioning it during the breaks in yoga that we HAD to go there afterwards to check out the music and the chai. The nice thing about this festival is that everything was in walking distance of each other and you could basically follow the crowd from one stop to the next. At The Carrot, we saw a few other people who had just come from yoga as well.

So, I may or may not have had the best chai tea latte of my existence. You know when really annoying people are like “the secret ingredient is love” and you just want to punch them in the face and be like “enough of your hippie dippy shit, I want to make this, what are the ACTUAL ingredients?”

I definitely believe ~*~LoVe~*~ was the secret ingredient to this chai tea latte.


Finally, the music started. There was a pianist and two acoustic guitar players belting out their own fabulous music. There’s just nothing like a chick behind a mic with a single instrument. We could have sat there for hours.

Ladies on the mics:

Kimberley MacGregor
Justine Vandergrift
Adrianne Salmon

You should definitely check them out because they are all wonderful. So wonderful in fact that Emily decided to sign up for voice lessons with Adrianne because that’s the thing about Emily: she is a Doer Of Things.

We could have sat there all day but our empty stomachs had a different idea. Even though I’ve lived in Edmonton most of my life, I had never stopped to hang out on 118th ave. It used to be the Whyte Ave of Edmonton back in the 80s, until it went downhill. When I started to go out and enjoy the partying lifestyle 10 years ago, I was warned by my step-dad that if I stepped on 118th ave, he was going to have some words about it. So I’ve avoided it ever since. Fortunately, the city is now trying to revitalize the area and I think they’re doing a pretty bang up job. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

skirtsafireAnnette introducing the musicians.

That was a long segue into me saying we asked the lovely Annette where we should go for a late lunch. She suggested quite a few places but the Portuguese bakery won us both over. This was our departure from the Skirtsafire festival. Because it was a very last minute realization that this festival was evening happening, we didn’t have time to indulge in other events, even though the belly dancing workshop on Sunday was definitely calling our name.

Neither of us had been to The Popular Bakery & Cafe. Annette said the smell of freshly made bread, good cheese and meats hits you the second you open the door. I had learned over the few hours I spent with Annette that she is not a liar.

Yoga. Stretchy and good.
Music. Awesome.
Chai. Homer Simpson drool.
Portuguese bakery. Om nom nom nom.

I should clearly be a food critic. The sandwiches we had were top friggin notch and I would highly recommend going to this bakery and ordering one of everything.


Even though we were only able to attend two events at this festival, both Emily and I were extremely happy we went. I will definitely be back next year and plan my weekend accordingly so I can do and enjoy All The Things. If you are a man or woman living in Edmonton and think women are an integral part of the art community and wildly under-appreciated, ya’ll need to check this festival out.

If you don’t live in Edmonton, hopefully there are festivals in your place of living that are like this one. If not, start one.


5 Responses

  1. Sounds like a good event, and for a good cause. Most events like this are all downtown (Chicago) for me, and I’m eagerly waiting for my rugrats to be a bit older which will allow me longer periods out of the house to partake….1/2 day outings look to be on the horizon! In the meantime, I’ve been inspired to find a nice bakery for lunch today. mmmmmmm

  2. I used to live on 89th street just north of 118th. It was sketchy as hell when I lived there (2001-2004), and then when I worked at Telus (2005-2009) and had to go to the Norwood CO, I was always a little wary. I’m glad to see the city is trying to improve that area.

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