CA – The Harlem Hellfighters Signing

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Max Brooks (World War Z) appears at Eso Won Books for Talk/Q&A/Signing on Monday April 21, 2104 at 7:00 PM!

In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched triumphantly home from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government. The Harlem Hellfighters, as the Germans called them, fought courageously on—and off—the battlefield to make Europe, and America, safe for democracy.

In THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS, bestselling author Max Brooks and acclaimed illustrator Caanan White bring this history to life. From the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France, they tell the heroic story of the 369th in an action packed and powerful tale of honor and heart. Come early and enjoy the discussion.

Eso Won Books
4327 Degnan Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 290-1048

NYC – Neil Gaiman Plays Carnegie Hall

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Neil Gaiman appears at Carnegie Hall on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 8 PM!

Presenting a synchronized multimedia storytelling event, Neil Gaiman reads his story The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains. Illustrations are provided by renowned artist Eddie Campbell, with a live underscore by the FourPlay String Quartet. Originally commissioned by the Sydney Opera House for its GRAPHIC Festival, the story will be published on June 17, 2014, by William Morrow, a HarperCollins imprint. Neil Gaiman is a bestselling writer, his work spanning from the Sandman comics to award-winning novels and major feature films.

Tickets are available at the link!

Carnegie Hall
881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
(212) 247-7800

Hot Rod comes to May-Hem

Roddy Piper May-Hem

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper has just been added to the already amazing guest list for Spooky Empire’s May-Hem! This will be the first ever convention appearance of Roddy Piper and John Carpenter in one place! Roddy is best known as the long time WWF/WCW wrestler, but also starred in many films and TV shows including John Carpenter’s “They Live”, The Outer Limits, Highlander and It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see Piper and Carpenter together!!

Get your discount advanced tickets today !!

www.spookyempire.com

NH – FCBD: Gail Simone Signs

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Special guest Gail Simone joins Marjorie Liu, Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, Blair Shedd, Sara Richard, Roger Andrews, and many more appear at Double Midnight Comics on Saturday May 3, 2014 for Free Comic Book Day!

Press Release:

How do we top 2013′s Free Comic Book Day? BY DOUBLING IT! Our 2014 Free Comic Book Day will be DOUBLED, with our usual one in Manchester and one at our new location in Concord! We will be featuring special guests, events and of course, exclusive free comics at each, as well as special sales too! Additionally, we will have a number of local artists, fantastic cosplayers, contests and a wide variety of free comics!

Special Artist/Writer Guests include:
Gail Simone (Batgirl, Red Sonja, Birds of Prey)
Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men, X-23)
Shelli Paroline (Adventure Time)
Braden Lamb (Adventure Time)
Blair Shedd (Doctor Who)
Sara Richard (My Little Pony)
Alex de Campi (My Little Pony, Grindhouse) – Appearing in Manchester from 5-7!
Roger Andrews (Super Hero Squad)
Ransom Getty (Guardians of the Globe)

Artists include:
Scott Hamilton
Dan Larson
Amanda Dufresne
Nicole Hansche
David Leblanc
Jerry Fleming
Don Higgins
Juli O’Malley
Kendra Lee Saunders
Jason Casey
Matt Bessette
Bexx Fine
Jeremy Mchugh
Janella Mele
Angela Costello
Dennis Burke
Clark Drew
Peter Vinton Jr
Ben Gibson
Michelle Pinard

NOTE: free sketches are at the discretion of the artist and not guaranteed.

Cosplay Guests include:
Nicole Marie Jean (cosplayer extraordinaire)
Bellechere (world renown cosplayer)
501st New England Garrison
Ghostbusters of New Hampshire
New England Brethren of Pirates

Special Guests:
Rhode Island Comic Con
Terror Con
Pop Culture Expo
Spectacular Batcycle (Concord)
Bumblebee 1977 Chevy Camaro from Transformers

BBQ? Of course! Our grill master and BBQ expert Jareb will be back, making some fantastic grub in Manchester!

We also want to have the biggest group of cosplayers we can amass, so we will have extra goodies to everyone that comes in costume, as well as the BIGGEST Free Comic Book Day costume contest in the US!

We will also be having a HUGE after party in Concord when all is said and done, with a few more surprises. What could we possibly have up our sleeves?

RSVP on Facebook!

Double Midnight Comics
245 Maple St, Unit 11, Manchester, NH 03103

AZ – ’68: Rule of War Signing

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Jay Fotos signs at Samurai Comics on Wednesday, April 2nd from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm!

RSVP n Facebook!

Press Release:

Run on down (or zombie stumble!) to the Samurai Comics Superstore on Camelback on Wednesday April 2nd at 4pm for a signing session with Jay Fotos for his new book ‘68: RULE OF WAR #1! This book features three covers, including a blank sketch cover!

Jay will be bringing in some super awesome local talent to do sketches on the blank covers, so make sure you stop on by and see some of the freshest and coolest takes on Zombies from some of the very best talent that Arizona has to offer!

In addition to Jay signing, anyone that purchases a copy of ’68: Rule of War #1 during the signing (so from 4pm to 9pm) will be able to get 10% off any one item of Zombie related awesomeness!

Not enough for you? Well how about Samurai Comics having a Zombie Make-Up Artist #LinzyPoo offering zombie makeup ($10 a head) come in and making you all crazy and creepy zombies?! Well that is happening too!

‘68: RULE OF WAR #1 from Image Comics
Writer: Mark Kidwell • Artist: Jeff Zornow, Jay Fotos

In a doom-shadowed Cambodia infested with the living dead, CIA Special Agent Declan Rule and his canine companion Nero stalk a human monster, a neurosurgeon bent on carrying out grisly experiments that turn P.O.W.s into vicious instruments of war. In Vietnam, Private Kuen Yam and his ragtag band of survivors battle their way across a murderous no-man’s-land in a desperate search for a ticket to the skies. The war is over, but the battle for humanity’s survival has just begun. Courage will be tested, sanity will be pushed to the breaking point and the rules of war… will be broken.

Samurai Comics
1051 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014
602-265-8886

Being Human’s Sam Witwer Appears at Boston Comic Con 2014

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Boston Comic Con welcomes actor Sam Witwer to our 2014 show! Sam stars as the vampire Aidan Waite on Syfy’s original supernatural series Being Human. A remake of the original BBC show, this version is set right here in Boston and Sam’s character has a long, looong history with the city. Sam’s performance in the role won him a Gemini Award in 2011 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing, Leading Dramatic Role.

Star Wars fans will recognize Sam as the voice of Starkiller from The Force Unleashed video games and Darth Maul on The Clone Wars. Plus he has appeared in recurring roles on several genre shows including Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, Smallville, and a cameo as the zombie in the tank in the very first episode of The Walking Dead. He also played Private Jessup in Frank Darabont’s horror film The Mist. A Chicago native and a Juilliard-trained actor, Sam is also an accomplished musician who performs in the L.A. music scene with his band, The Crashtones.

Previously announced guests include Jason Momoa, Jewel Staite, James Marsters, Eve Myles, Simon Bisley, Amanda Conner, Adam Kubert, Jeff Smith, Greg Capullo, Danielle Corsetto, Carlos Pacheco, Jimmy Palmiotti, Eric Powell, Gail Simone, Stan Sakai, Scott Snyder, and many more! For the full guest list plus artist alley, exhibitor, and film fest registration please check out the Boston Comic Con website!

Online ticket purchases are available at the link! Tell your friends!

RSVP on Facebook!

About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 120,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. This year’s convention will be held Friday August 8th, Saturday August 9th and Sunday August 10th at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!

CA – Judy Greer Signs

jg041714Judy Greer appears at Book Soup on Thursday April 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm to discuss and sign her new memoir I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star.

About the book:
ou know Judy Greer, right? Wait, what was she in again? The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, 27 Dresses, The Descendants. Yes, you totally recognize her. And, odds are, if you’re like most women in America, you feel like she’s already your friend. Thankfully, Greer has finally written a book of essays about all the moments, topics, observations, and confessions that you would hope to hear from your best friend. How a midnight shopping trip to CVS can cure all? What it’s like to have stepchildren? And how she “really” feels about her mother? Yes, it’s all in there. But Judy Greer isn’t just a regular friend-she’s a celebrity friend. Want to know which celebs she’s peed next to? Or what the Oscars were actually like? Or which hot actor gave her father a Harley Davidson? Don’t worry–that’s included, too. Besides being laugh-out-loud funny, you’ll love her because she makes us genuinely feel like she’s one of us. Because even though she sometimes has a stylist and a make-up artist, she still wears (and hates!) Spanx. Because she starts her book like this: “This is who I am. This is what I think about things. This is stuff that happened to me, that could have just as easily have happened to you. I’m not that special, and we’re probably not that different. I think I am really lucky to be where I am in life, but I’ve never really lost that feeling that I don’t fit in, and if you have, will you please email me and tell me how you did it? I’m serious.”

About the Author

Judy Greer was born in Detroit and studied at The Theatre School, DePaul University’s prestigious theater conservatory program. She is one of the most prolific actresses of her time, appearing to date in over eighty roles across film and television. Greer recently starred in the Oscar-winning film The Descendants and will next be seen in the remake of Carrie. No stranger to the small screen, she voices Cheryl (Carol) Tunt on the cult hit Archer and can currently be seen in Arrested Development as Kitty Sanchez. On stage, Greer recently made her Broadway debut in Dead Accounts. She stars in her own Yahoo! series called Reluctantly Healthy. Greer currently resides in Los Angeles.

Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd, W. Hollywood, CA 90069
310.659.3110

FAN EXPO Vancouver™ 2014 Gathers Geeks and Superheroes

Amell Arrow

Press Release:

FAN EXPO VANCOUVER™ GATHERS GEEKS AND SUPERHEROES

Freddy Krueger to The Walking Dead alum added to the star-studded line-up

Vancouver, BC (March 19, 2014) – FAN EXPO Vancouver™ will mark its third year by delivering a fan-tastic Easter Break escape for geeks and superheroes of all ages. The celebration of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming returns April 18-20, 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

In the wise words of Jedi Master Yoda “Do or do not, there is no try.” At FAN EXPO Vancouver™ fans can ‘do’ it all: Q&A’s with celebrities and industry pros, sketch duels, photos opportunities with the entire Star Wars 501st Legion crew, retail and exhibitor areas bursting with rare comics and collectibles to the latest nerd-wear and tech-gear, and gatherings of fellow minded superheroes in and out of disguise (Batman or Bunny costume optional).

“FAN EXPO is the perfect playground for pop culture fans of all ages and this year we made it bigger for Vancouver fans,” says FAN EXPO HQ President, Steve Menzie. “We added 50% more space and a third day so our fans can enjoy even more of the fandom they are so passionate about.”

FAN EXPO VANCOUVER™ GUESTS INCLUDE:

  • KARL URBAN (Almost Human; Star Trek)
  • STEVEN YEUN (The Walking Dead)
  • BRUCE CAMPBELL (Army of Darkness; Evil Dead)
  • ROBERT ENGLUND (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
  • STEPHEN AMELL (Star of Arrow)
  • ELIZA DUSHKU (Angel; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Dollhouse)
  • GIANCARLO ESPOSITO (Breaking Bad; Revolution)
  • RAY PARK (G.I. Joe; Star Wars Episode I)
  • CHARISMA CARPENTER (Angel; Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  • JON HEDER (Napoleon Dynamite; Blades of Glory)
  • MICHAEL ROSENBAUM (Smallville)
  • BRUCE BOXLEITNER (Babylon 5; Tron)
  • JOHN DE LANCIE (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • MORENA BACCARIN (Serenity/Firefly; Homeland)
  • TOM FELTON (Harry Potter)
  • BILLY BOYD (Lord of the Rings)

For the complete list of guests, info and tickets, visit our website at http://jivecommunications.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=2f3e3a68691554962f3e63fb8&id=d9ccc6a1d5&e=28ad5431a1

FAN EXPO Vancouver™ is a comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event featuring exciting family-friendly activities. 2014 Celebrity Guests include Karl Urban (Star Trek), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness), Stephen Amell (Arrow), Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street), and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), and more! FAN EXPO Vancouver™ is now a three-day pop culture extravaganza April 18-20, 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC.

FAN EXPO HQ is the largest entertainment convention group in the country and one of the largest in the world. Collectively it hosts almost 250,000 fans annually at FAN EXPO Canada™, FAN EXPO Vancouver™, FAN EXPO Regina™; Toronto ComiCon, Dallas Comic Con, Dallas Sci-Fi Expo, and Dallas Fan Days presented by FAN EXPO.

Mad Monster Party Charlotte 2014 Con Report!

Tom Savini & Katie Bearden. Photo courtesy of Long Walk Productions.

Tom Savini & Katie Bearden. Photo courtesy of Long Walk Productions.

 

The Mad Monster Party returned to Charlotte this weekend, March 21-23, 2014, by far their biggest effort yet. This was the third year for the convention that celebrates everything from old school Twilight Zone to A House of 1,000 Corpses, and everything in between. In fact, where else could you find Leatherface himself, RA Mihailoff reciting the Bard with Shakespeare Carolina, while music legends The Misfits looked on? It was truly a bizarre weekend.

I had the great fortune to be invited by local independent film makers, Long Walk Productions, to hang with them at their vendor booth for the convention. This meant that my time was split between working the Con and also enjoying it from a visitor’s perspective. It’s interesting to see things from both sides of the house, especially if you want a clear impression of what is really going on around you. It’s always a good thing, unless of course you are reviewing a restaurant. In that case, I assure you…stay out of the kitchen.

The Mad Monster Party (MMP) was set up between two large ballrooms at the University Place Hilton in Charlotte. The hotel is situated by a small lake, amongst many shops and restaurants all connected by small footbridge. Parking was a little tricky, but almost always is at events such as these. MMP utilized every bit of space that they could, lining the hallways of the hotel with various vendor booths and installing a gala tent in the parking lot. Everywhere you turned, strange collectibles and stars of the macabre awaited. Upon set up Friday, it seemed as though everything was planned to perfection. Little did I know how busy things were in the lobby with people trying to get through Will Call with their pre-paid ticket receipts.

And then, of course, came Saturday. Saturdays are notorious for being the busiest convention day because that’s when most people are able to attend. It became evident quickly that the volunteer staff was not prepared to handle the situation. Social media began to explode with posts citing excessively long lines and ticketing issues among other things. Television and film star John Schneider, who was there to do a special screening of his new film Smothered, remained positive as he told me, “We had a good turnout [for the screening] but I wouldn’t do it on a Friday night again, because I’ve had a bunch of people say that they couldn’t get in last night because in order to see Smothered, they had to get in here first. And the line was too long, so by the time they got their ticket, Smothered was either already started or over.” Aside from that snafu, Schneider seemed rather pleased with the rest of MMP.

That seemed to be the consensus all around. Nightmare on Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp, commenting on the amount of people waiting in line to meet her,  “It’s something like I have never experienced.” For the most part, vendors and celebrities were easily accessible, with no more than a 10 minute wait at any given time. But as Saturday progressed, maneuverability waned. Table lines grew wildly, specifically for William Shatner, Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson, and Corey Feldman. Traffic flow to the tables was not designated prior, so fans were coming at them from all sides. It was a complete cluster. Finally, someone had the sense to put some silver duct tape on the floor in front of Elvira’s table to split the flow of traffic in either direction. Feldman told me, “I think it’s [MMP] great, you know. It’s probably the biggest one I’ve seen outside of [San Diego] Comic Con, that would be my guess.

Joe Moe, one of the three event organizers, was on hand throughout the weekend, talking to vendors, guests, and overseeing things first hand. I witnessed him assess a pedestrian traffic jam and quickly remedy the situation by addressing volunteer staff and guests. Having been on the working side of conventions before, I know how overwhelming things can become. Moe, always with a smile on his face, took it all in stride. “We’re having some growing pains, yes. Ballpark, it looks like we’re on track with 4-5,ooo in attendance, which is what we had hoped for.” Moe also made sure to respond to comments on social media outlets throughout the weekend, which were not always positive, and address concerns in the best way that he could. “We’re really responsive to fans.”

Many of those fans had some downright horrible things to say in their posts. This is the first time that I have seen that level of response to a convention. Sure, I had issues with the event. For starters, the power went off twice in the ballroom leaving everyone in the dark for a few moments. The A/C was all but non-existent. There wasn’t enough signage or a proper map laid out in their pamphlets to let guests know which celebs were in which ballroom, or to provide the location of any special panels (the tent in the parking lot, in case you were wondering). One of the actors, I won’t name names, bumped into me at a water cooler. “I ain’t seen a staff member in hours.” He’d had to abandon his autograph table in order to get a drink of water because volunteers all but disappeared the more chaotic the crowd became. There were so many things that I witnessed–again, as both vendor and guest–that I would have done differently.

Certainly, there were cases where the venting was called for. If I’d pre-purchased tickets and still been subjected to a 3.5hr line to hand in the receipt, I would have been pissed! If my car had been lost by the valet (yes, that happened) the whole world would have known about it. But, the majority of the complaints were, in my opinion, blown out of proportion. I don’t know anything about this Joe Moe or his colleagues. But what I do know, is that someone who is a fanboy at heart, got the idea to start a convention. A party by the fans for the fans. For everything that was wrong, so much of the weekend was right. Even Disney World gave me a headache (fast-pass my behind). But it was still one of the greatest vacations of my life.

That being said, let’s consider the rest of MMP, shall we? One minute I’m discussing special effects make-up with the great Tom Savini, and the next, I’m cracking jokes with the likes of Richard Kiel and Dick Miller. There was a panel between WWF (yeah…I said it) legends Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan. Henry “the Fonz” Winkler was showing off children’s books. Cherie Currie was chatting me up on the history of rock legends the Runaways. Corey Feldman used my cell phone. Megan Grant, a licensed cosmetologist and entrepreneur, was set up with her Get Dead Crew, providing air-brush and prosthetics to people, literally turning them into monsters on site. There was karaoke in the hotel bar Saturday night. I laid down the boogie and played that funky music til they died. Or at least until the Misfits’ Dr. Chud cracked up laughing at me. The highlight of my weekend at MMP was Saturday night at midnight, when an estimated 1,000 guests piled into the gala tent to watch a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, featuring a spectacular shadow-cast troupe called That Type from Charlotte’s Cinebarre, and featuring the film’s stars Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn and “Little” Nell Campbell. RHPS historian, Larry Vizel was on hand to film and conduct interviews for the upcoming 40th anniversary documentary Rocky Horror Saved My Life. It was an historical evening. In her second year attending with her family, Roseana Matthews found a “Golden Ticket” in the “Monsta Bar” she had purchased. The chocolates were a monster mock up of the famous Wonka Bar, with 6 lucky winners being upgraded to RIP status.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make, is that people need to lighten up. Unless something truly horrible happened to you or someone you care about as a direct result of something at a convention, you’re problem isn’t as big as you’re making it out to be. MMP is, as Moe said, experiencing growing pains. In 3 short years, the event has grown exponentially. Given their celebrity guest list, perhaps they should have considered a different venue. This is an event that is convention center worthy, crammed into a hotel. In order to make up for the overcrowding (which, according to local news, had the attention of the Fire Marshall), organizers will need to carefully consider where they set up next year. Or at least, reconsider the amount of vendors in the halls (many in wheelchairs had difficulties navigating) or alter the layout. Volunteer staff could be better trained. But this is how it is done, honestly, trial and error. As an event organizer, you try to prepare for every possible scenario you can imagine and you train your staff based on that. Without fail, something unexpected will always crop up; being short handed, celebs that cancel, ticketing issues, photo-op issues, and so forth. Conventions should be looked at as viable organisms, growing and changing and evolving. They will never be able to please all fans all the time. But they will certainly try. Year to year, they’ll try.

And it’s important for MMP to learn from their mistakes and move forward a little more prepared next year. For every celebrity guest I interviewed raved about how much fun they were having and how they couldn’t wait to come back. Celebrating all that scares us excites our film heroes, too. “Your first scare is the most important one you have,” said Langenkamp, admitting that the Flying Monkeys from the Wizard of Oz is what started it all for her. Dick Miller laughed, “I’ve very rarely been scared by movies…except for something Shirley Temple did.” Barry Bostwick had other ideas, “You wanna know why I do this? I do this to talk to lovely people like you and to oogle the girls. I just sit here and watch the girls go by.” Thanks, Barry.

All in all, in spite of a few hiccups–some preventable, some not–I think Mad Monster Party was a huge success. It is a relaxed environment where you get to hang out with the celebrities, rather than being separated from them like at some other conventions. Between the few panels that they had, the movie screenings, and the Rocky Horror reunion, it was definitely worth the ticket price for anyone who attended. Even though I did my fair share of mumbling and complaining throughout the weekend, I will admit, as a fan I am grateful an event such as this has been put together. I hope that, in time, other fans will learn to appreciate what all goes into putting on an event of this size and what they got to experience over all. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings for the Mad Monster Party!

Photos courtesy of Garrett Marks and Walker Bait Productions, unless otherwise noted.

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson.

Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson.

RA Mihailoff (Leatherface) reciting with Shakespeare Carolina and Long Walk Productions.

RA Mihailoff (Leatherface) reciting with Shakespeare Carolina and Long Walk Productions.

Patricia Quinn chatting with the Carolina Ghostbusters.

Patricia Quinn chatting with the Carolina Ghostbusters.

Barry Bostwick.

Barry Bostwick.

Joking around with Richard Kiel.

Joking around with Richard Kiel.

Setting up in one of the MMP ballrooms.

Setting up in one of the MMP ballrooms.

AB – ’68: Rule of War Signing

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NAT JONES and KYLE CHARLES appear on Wednesday, April 2nd to promote the new ’68 mini-series at Happy Harbor Comics.

This dynamic duo will be with us from 3pm to 6pm and will be doing a limited number of sketches on special blank cover variants! Sketch requests will be taken on a first come, first serve basis with a donation to the Edmonton Food Bank.

Also joining them will be VIC MALHOTRA and Happy Harbor Artist-in-Residence ANDREW JACKSON who will be drawing some amazing Zombie art for your Food Bank donations!

Happy Harbor Comics
12226 Jasper Ave Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5J 3K1
Phone Number: 780-452-8211

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