Hey Santa! Let's Build the Ultimate Artist Wishlist this #ArtTalkTuesday!

It's #artTalkTuesday again. And today's question is very, very fun.

We're going to build the ultimate Christmas wishlist for artists.

What gifts can you share that are perfect for that creative side in all of us? What new tool of the trade would you most like to see under the tree this Christmas?

Share your own list, or your suggestions, below, and help us make the ultimate Christmas wishlist for artists - so big Santa can read it from the Pole.

(bonus points if you can share links)


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Friday Finds: 5 and a Half Christmas Gifts

Tis’ The Season! In today’s Friday Finds, I reach into the internet's velvety crimson bag of gifts and pull out presents to bless your bleeding hearts! Incidentally, the bag glows and jingles every time I open it, just like in Ernest Saves Christmas. Each of these five finds have been gifts to me, and I pray they are gifts to you as well. Each one may just ‘make your spirit bright’ as you take a moment out of the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations to unwrap them in the warm glow of your screen.

Merry Christmas!

1 Gift of Vision

This week you’ve likely already heard that Apple’s new Christmas commercial was filmed right here in Edmonton. For some fanboys, this is a pretty big deal. Like me.

But beyond the ‘celebrity visitation’ story here, the Journal’s Paula Simons points out what you may, like me, have missed in this video. The fact is, Apple’s ad team found the idyllic White Christmas, right here in Edmonton. Simons’ piece elevates a simple acknowledgement or even review of the Apple ad, instead offering a gift of renewed vision to Edmonton residents, in the middle of a long hard winter.

Dear Edmonton, the world thinks you’re beautiful.

Read Simon’s wonderful bit of writing here >

3 (and a half) Gifts of Song

There are so many free Christmas EP's that come out every year, it's hard to take any of them seriously. One might wonder whether this has become a gimmicky way for artists to promote themselves. Oh heck, I'm beyond wondering.

But still, through the clutter some diamonds still shine. Here are three free Christmas albums (donations are always welcome on Noisetrade) that offer something a little different. These are three collections I have found worth downloading, and think you will too.

Merry Christmas. Good Night. Vol 3

This collection is full of songs striking the rare balance between 'modern' and 'reverent'. It actually plays as much like an indie worship album as a Christmas album. My main reason for downloading was the track Winter Wind by local artists and friends L’Ampersand. I really dig the electric piano opening and the strings later on in the song. It's not the only gem you'll find here though. Sean Carter's Glory of Men is particularly beautiful.

The Songs the Season Brings Vol 3. Beta Radio

Any album that starts out with the track The Carol of the Banjos has my attention. Again, what drew me in is not the only, or even the best, track on the album. The original song, The Songs the Season Brings is an excellent bit of indie Americana.

Hey Rosetta!, A Cup of Kindness Yet

The first song on this Christmas EP from last year, Carry Me Home, is just incredible - my favourite original Christmas song in a long while and well worth the download. Thankfully, the other three songs are beautiful, too.

OK, One More

This one is gonna cost you, but I promise it is worth it. My favourite Christmas discovery this year is by Bahamas, from a little compilation a couple of years old that I'd never heard of. Bahamas cover of Christmas Must Be Tonight, by The Band, is just heart-breakingly beautiful. Oh, that guitar!

Do yourself a favour and pay the $1.29 to download the track on iTunes. Do it now!

1 Gift of Inspiration

It seems every month or so I come across another inspiring story about Pope Francis. The latest comes from local writer and friend Stephen Berg, whose blog Grow Mercy is a constant gift itself (you really should subscribe).

Stephen writes of Pope Francis' challenge to ‘unfettered capitalism’, in favour of ‘the unfettered gospel’. Just days from celebrating Christ's breaking-through, this is a very good read and a reminder that loving your neighbour comes at a cost.

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Yule Ave a Blast!: Join Us on the Ave This Christmas

Working on Alberta Avenue with The Bleeding Heart Art Space I get to meet a lot of great people. I get to meet artists and people in love with their community and people with big dreams. Many of those people are making their dreams a reality. It’s an inspiring neighbourhood. Last year I got to meet Frank Zotter, an actor and Alberta Avenue enthusiast. I was introduced to Frank by Christy Morin, Executive Director of Arts On The Ave. Christy knew about a big, crazy dream Frank had (just one of many) and thought that The Bleeding Heart Art Space might want to get involved. As I listened to Frank’s dream, I knew she was right.

Frank loves Christmas. Frank wants to see the community come together for a Christmas that runs deeper than consumerism. An old fashioned, carolling door-to-door, hot apple-cider kind of Christmas that money cannot buy. Last year, for the first time, Frank pulled together a celebration called Yule Ave. Yule Ave is a little Christmas festival, and it culminates in an evening ‘Revue’ called ‘Yule Ave: A Blast!’.

Yule Ave 2013 Poster - 11x17This event looks at Christmas from all angles, spanning many holiday traditions. The Yule Ave: A Blast! Revue can range from deeply touching to hilariously irreverent. But Frank recognizes the wonder of the Christmas story, and he asked The Bleeding Heart to bring that story to the Revue last year. Through songs and spoken word, we got to shine a light on the Nativity story. It was a magical night.

This year The Bleeding Heart Art Space, and by extension the Urban Bridge Church community, has the opportunity to bring art, faith, hope and love to Yule Ave once again. We will fill fifteen minutes of the Yule Ave: A Blast! Revue with spoken word, an original song and a classic carol, all focussed on seeking out the Christmas star. My hope is that the Life Light will shine a little through our art. Myself, Andy Mulcair, Brook Biggin, Kristin Kajorinne, Eli Ritz and Jennifer Wilde will provide the music. We hope you will join us that evening.

The Yule Ave: A Blast! Revue begins Friday night, December 13 at 8:15 PM at The Alberta Avenue Community League (9210 118th Ave), and will be jam packed with music, theatre, poetry, laughs and warmth. There’s even free chili.

It might just be the most special evening you have this Christmas.

Blog for Bleeding Heart!

You have something to say–why not say it here? Email your blog post idea to and let's chat.