The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal


How one of Calgary's best covers the ever-changing world of sports

thumb photo JohnsonAs a sports columnist for the Calgary Herald, George Johnson's job is to capture the biggest moments in sports. He puts together compelling stories, using his unique personality and flair to tell the tale.

He has not only become known for his entertaining style of writing, but for conveying the passion he has for the world of sports and the characters within it.

But Johnson fears that he may be the last of a fading generation of writers, giving way to a new group of generic reporters who are focused on quantity, rather than quality.

"Expediency seems to have taken over for a lot of the quality," Johnson says. "For someone who wants to write now, don't be afraid. Show some personality in your writing. Sometimes it's going to be awful – God knows it still is 36 years later – but at least I tried."

Calgary indie radio show host shifts focus from the airwaves to his health

Thumbnail2It's Halloween, and Internet radio host Bill Laplante is broadcasting his show Big Bill's Indie Underground live from the Blind Beggar Pub. The broadcast marks the one-year anniversary of the show's official launch party.

Costumed attendees are flooding the Beggar for the 2013 Halloween Monster Jam, several of whom beeline it to Laplante, who is sitting just to the left of the stage, his long hair hanging from under his trademark black bandana. Behind an array of headphones, microphones, a mixer and a laptop decked out with the logos of several local bands, Laplante is in his comfort zone.

Many at the venue are musicians who have been guests on Laplante's local radio show. They've had their songs played, voices heard, engaged in serious discussions and told tasteless jokes, which Laplante says is the show's norm.

How a hiker, scrambler, and trail runner brought his passions together

tomphoto2With less than two years of mountain and alpine running experience under his belt, Tom Amaral has made significant progress in a sport that many have never heard of.

What began as hiking, scrambling and training for ultra-marathons quickly transformed into the niche sport of alpine running.

It all began after a successful summer season in 2012 of scrambling and hiking. Amaral made a trip out to Healy Pass for his last training run before competing in the 50-kilometre Salomon Grizzly Ultra Marathon in Canmore, Alta.

Larry Stanier has made a career out of taking calculated risks

larry 2thumbLarry Stanier relaxes in an oversized chair and nonchalantly speaks about the time he helped rescue two kids off the side of a mountain.

Not the worst he's seen, he says, but with potential hypothermia setting in and them hanging from harnesses, it felt pretty good to get those guys.

To most this sounds like a script out of a movie. But to Stanier, a mountain guide and avalanche expert, this is the simple reality of his day job.

Stanier is personable; he easily laughs, and his humility in what he's accomplished is, alone, something to admire. One gets the feeling while speaking with him that he's hyper-aware of his surroundings at all times.