HicksBiz Blog

ADOPT-A-TEEN: Heart-warming responses from under-privileged youth By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, December 13, 2018

Edmonton Sun columnist Graham Hicks holds up Wal-Mart gift cards for Adopt-A-Teen at the Edmonton Sun studio in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. Hicks started Adopt-A-Teen 15 years ago. Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI AgencyCodie McLachlan / Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun By GRAHAM HICKS During the 18 years I chaired the Edmonton Sun’s annual Adopt-A-Teen Christmas gift program for underprivileged teens, I will admit to some minor despair. In the program’s early years, legal advisors pointed out the original Adopt-A-Teen process — connecting families with teens needing gifts to families wanting to help — could land my newspaper in hot legal water if anything went wrong. We had to switch to buying gift cards that are now mailed out to teens in all the Edmonton under-privileged families registered with the Edmonton Christmas Bureau or The Salvation Army. It’s a good system. Your donations are used to purchase an Adopt-A-Teen’s $50 Walmart gift ... Read the rest of entry »

Adopt-A-Teen: The Christmas charity volunteer armada is on its way! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 12, 2018

John Paul Janssens (right) and John Marks load gifts on to Janssens truck during the second day of deliveries for 630 CHED's Santas Anonymous in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday, December 18, 2016. Volunteers through the charitable organization deliver gifts and Christmas cheer to families in need across the city. Ian Kucerak / Postmedia FileKucerak, Ian / Postmedia By GRAHAM HICKS A volunteer armada is about to descend on our city. The upcoming weekend (Dec. 15 and 16, 2018) is delivery day(s) for two of the three Edmonton Christmas charities  that work hand-in-glove to make sure every child in the city, from toddler to 17-year-old, has a Christmas gift, that every family can sit down to a delicious Christmas dinner without worrying about the cost. Thousands – literally – of volunteer drivers will rally at the Santa’s Anonymous new permanent home in the  Jerry Forbes Centre (12122-68 Street – close to the now-closed Coliseum), to pick up and delivery toys to ... Read the rest of entry »

ADOPT-A-TEEN: The Christmas charity volunteer armada is on its way! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 12, 2018

John Paul Janssens (right) and John Marks load gifts on to Janssens truck during the second day of deliveries for 630 CHED's Santas Anonymous in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday, December 18, 2016. Volunteers through the charitable organization deliver gifts and Christmas cheer to families in need across the city. Ian Kucerak / Postmedia FileKucerak, Ian / Postmedia By GRAHAM HICKS A volunteer armada is about to descend on our city. The upcoming weekend (Dec. 15 and 16, 2018) is delivery day(s) for two of the three Edmonton Christmas charities  that work hand-in-glove to make sure every child in the city, from toddler to 17-year-old, has a Christmas gift, that every family can sit down to a delicious Christmas dinner without worrying about the cost. Thousands – literally – of volunteer drivers will rally at the Santa’s Anonymous new permanent home in the  Jerry Forbes Centre (12122-68 Street – close to the now-closed Coliseum), to pick up and delivery toys to ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Dizzying descent of Solstice Seasonal Cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, December 11, 2018

Solstice Seasonal Cuisine's wild boar rillette was a splash of flavour in an otherwise uninspiring evening of dining. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton Solstice Seasonal Cuisine 10723 124 St. NW 780-488-4567 solsticefood.com Reservations: Opentable.ca Delivery: Skipthedishes.com Monday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. Thurs. 11 p.m.) Lunch-times – Delivery only – Skipthedishes.com Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $50; loaded $130 Food:  3 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS How perplexing. How could a restaurant that earned a rave review from the Weekly Dish four years ago have spiraled down to ho-hum with the same (according to its website) executive chef, sous chef and front-of-house manager? How did Solstice Seasonal Cuisine, on 124 Street, become so quickly dated and old-fashioned? Solstice Seasonal chef Jan Trittenbach was the talk of town when he won the 2015 Edmonton Gol ... Read the rest of entry »

ADOPT-A-TEEN Trio of charities helps ensure families have a Christmas By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 7, 2018

Debbie Mears is helped with the icing on the Adopt-A-Teen gingerbread house by three-year-old Lidia Lee. The Christmas Bureau launched its 78th campaign with a gingerbread house decorating challenge in Ford Hall at Rogers Place.Shaughn Butts / Postmedia Images linger in my head. Teens for whom Christmas is the toughest day of the year. Their peers may be showered with gifts, but their parents (often one parent or guardian) can’t give them a thing. Kids — for that is what teens are — who just wish Christmas would go away, because it hurts too much. Think of their families. So many different situations for the parents or guardians — newly arrived immigrants, single parents, recently laid-off, disabled and unable to work. They all love their children — especially those often-non-communicative teens! But they are all struggling to make ends meet. That’s why it is so easy to ask you, in this season of giving, to support The Edmonton Sun’s Ado ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Good projects if we can afford them By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 7, 2018

The JW Marriott hotel in the Edmonton Ice District reaches into the clouds on March 19, 2018.Shaughn Butts / Postmedia, file By GRAHAM HICKS Enough of this pipeline doom ‘n’ gloom! ‘Tis time to be a tad optimistic about Edmonton’s future.  (I’ll try to be optimistic. In my heart of hearts, I am dead worried about the future of my children in this province.) Three major land-use projects are underway in the downtown. If properly done, prudently funded, they should gently contribute to the city’s economic wellbeing and quality of life. The one I like best — the Central Warehouse Park — is well underway. The City of Edmonton is creating a big (1.4 acres — about a square city block) new, traditional city park in the downtown. It’s north of Jasper Avenue, from 106 Street to halfway between 107 and 108 Streets. Think of the surface parking lots behind the big Boston Pizza building (at Jasper and 106 Street), behind Audr ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Good projects if we can afford them By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 7, 2018

The JW Marriott hotel in the Edmonton Ice District reaches into the clouds on March 19, 2018.Shaughn Butts / Postmedia, file By GRAHAM HICKS Enough of this pipeline doom ‘n’ gloom! ‘Tis time to be a tad optimistic about Edmonton’s future.  (I’ll try to be optimistic. In my heart of hearts, I am dead worried about the future of my children in this province.) Three major land-use projects are underway in the downtown. If properly done, prudently funded, they should gently contribute to the city’s economic wellbeing and quality of life. The one I like best — the Central Warehouse Park — is well underway. The City of Edmonton is creating a big (1.4 acres — about a square city block) new, traditional city park in the downtown. It’s north of Jasper Avenue, from 106 Street to halfway between 107 and 108 Streets. Think of the surface parking lots behind the big Boston Pizza building (at Jasper and 106 Street), behind Audr ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Kanu Cafe earns a perfect five By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun December 4, 2018

Udon noodles like you have never had before. Delicious!Edmonton Kanu Café: Plant-based Cuisine 10803 Jasper Avenue 780-760-5268 kanucafe.ca Reservations: Opentable.ca No listed delivery service Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Thurs. and Fri. 11 p.m.) Saturday and Sunday, 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.  (11 p.m. on Sat.) Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $40; loaded $60 Food:  5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS Never in a million years would I have thought a vegetarian restaurant worthy of a perfect — i.e. five out of five Suns — food score. But here we are.  Canada’s first Kanu Café: Plant-based Cuisine, at Jasper Avenue and 108 Street, is worthy of the honour:  Five out of five for food it is. Even more exceptional:  Not only is Kanu vegetarian/vegan etc., etc. it’s  a (sort of) franchise! Celebrity American vegetarian chef/personality Matthew Kenney ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: How much more can Alberta’s government spend? By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, November 30, 2018

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley (Right), United Conservatives leader Jason Kenney (Left) By GRAHAM HICKS What in God’s name is this spend-until-we’re-bankrupt socialist Alberta government doing, announcing a purchase of $350 million worth of railroad oil tankers to move an extra 120,000 barrels of dilbit (diluted bitumen oil) a day – about 4% of Alberta’s current daily oil output? Look – we all knew the oilsands crisis was going to happen, as sure as night follows day. And now the day of reckoning has arrived. Oilsands production has grown. New extraction plants started before the 2014 oil-price collapse are now on stream. The ability to move additional oil from Fort McMurray via pipeline, as has been explained ad nauseum, has not. The smart oil-patch money knew this would happen. They knew the soft and wishy-washy Justin Trudeau federal government, for political reasons, would passively allow this economic crisis to happen. The smart oil-patch money – l ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: All things vegetarian in Edmonton, Part II By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, November 28, 2018

Good Stock's vegetarian linguini alfredo with borscht soup. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN Weekly Dish for Wednesday, November 28, 2018 – All things vegetarian, Part II Good Stock Restaurant 11409-40 Ave. (Petrolia Plaza) 587-499-8793 Goodstockrestaurant.com 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) No listed delivery service Food:  3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages, basic $25; loaded $40. Green Moustache 11416 Jasper Ave. 780-540-0026 greenmoustache.com 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sat. + Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) No listed delivery service Food: 2.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, basic $20; loaded, $30 By GRAHAM HICKS As noted in this column last week, “plant-based” restaurants are the latest dining-out trend in Edmonton. This is the second of a three-part series, exploring some of these recently-opened plant-based eateries. I make no judgement ... Read the rest of entry »