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The steps taken to turn an arena into a one-night arts centre

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Voters will go to the polls on April 4 in a referendum to determine whether they will give the city permission to borrow up to $45 million toward the cost of proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts, estimated to be $70 million.

The remainder of the budget for the three-theatre facility is expected to come from grants from senior levels of government and from fundraising efforts by arts groups.

KTW delves into how Sandman Centre is transformed into a venue for the performing arts — and the challenges a hockey arena poses for productions.

FROM ARENA TO ARTS

Celtic Illusion — a show that combines Irish dance with magic — was performed last week at Sandman Centre, but the show’s promoter said the touring act would have been better suited for the 1,200-seat main theatre in the proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts.

“The experience for the customer or the consumer is you’re in a hockey arena,” Jelly Events promoter Bill Jaswal said, as crews were setting up.

“Listen. There’s background noises, there’s different pumps running, there’s lots of reflective material for audio to bounce off of. It’s not a perfect world. But we make do with what we have. As you know, if you had a theatre, you’d have perfectly set-up seats. You wouldn’t have to pay to set up a stage and cover ice and pull glass and do all that. Your sightlines are better. Acoustically, it’s better. All those reasons.”

Jaswal has been behind major events in Kamloops for a number of years, booking acts and putting bums in seats, which is part of how he gets paid.

Overlooking a flurry of activity in the home of the Kamloops Blazers, Jaswal gave his take on the arts centre debate. If Kamloops had a major theatre space, he said, time and money would be saved, quality of shows would improve and more acts would come to town.

Sandman Centre Bill Jaswal
Jelly Events promoter Bill Jaswal regularly books shows into Sandman Centre, the city-owned, 5-500 hockey arena in downtown Kamloops. He said many acts, such as last week’s Celtic Illusion troupe, would have been better suited for the 1,200-seat main theatre in the proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts. “The experience for the customer or the consumer is you’re in a hockey arena,” he said. – Dave Eagles/KTW

TIME, MONEY TO TRANSFORM ARENA

Due to limited performance space in Kamloops, Sandman Centre is regularly transformed from an arena into an arts space.

Jaswal said he contacts Sagebrush Theatre regularly to book events, but noted last year he was only able to book one show at the venue because it’s “always booked” between Western Canada Theatre, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, School District 73 and other uses. Mid-sized events that can’t be booked at Sagebrush end up at Sandman Centre, where hockey games may bookend a performance and crews work through the night to transform the building.

City of Kamloops arena supervisor Francois Chasse explained the ice sheet upon which the Blazers skate must be covered piece by piece in flooring — 520 composite boards, to be exact.

In addition, glass is removed from the boards, protective netting is rolled up to the ceiling, bleachers are retracted, fire escapes are altered, seating, handrails, lighting and audio are set up and a stage is built.

Chasse said a 10-person city crew began transforming Sandman Centre at 11 p.m. the previous night, working into the morning before Jaswal and Celtic Illusion’s crew took over to tailor the space.

KTW watched as chains were hung from the ceiling and two semi-trucks worth of gear was unloaded, leaving limited rehearsal time for the evening show.

The next day, the crews did it all again in reverse and it’s the same routine each time a new act comes to town.

“At the end of the day, for what it takes to set up for a show, it’d be better to have a theatre,” Chasse said.

And all of that work comes with extra costs, which Jaswal called “significant” (estimated at $20,000 for the Celtic Illusion show). The cost is charged to the act, but ultimately passed onto consumers at the box office.

“It makes the ticket price higher,” Jaswal said.

SHOW QUALITY IMPACTED

The arena setting impacts the quality of a show like Celtic Illusion, Jaswal said.

Based on the area market and seating and view limitations, the show was determined to be ideally suited for 1,500 people in Kamloops. With no performance space that size, it was held in a large, mostly vacant (much of Sandman Centre was closed off) 5,500-seat arena — the only performance space in Kamloops that could accommodate the show.

(For this reason, when small shows set up in the arena, people may be given the impression it did not sell well, even though it may be sold out.) In the arena setting, however, the seats aren’t as comfortable, ambiance is colder and acoustics are lacking.

“If you look [points up toward the ceiling and around the arena], you have some glass with the suites, but you have a lot of reflective metals and materials,” Jaswal said.

“When sound comes, it’s not absorbed by that. It just bounces around. When you have a loud rock and roll show or a loud country show, the P.A. is going to overpower that. But when you have a quieter show, you will have more issues that you have to deal with.

“Acoustically, an arena is an arena, it’s meant for those type of loud performances. It’s when you get into a show that goes from 100 decimals, down to 60 or 70 and goes back up. That’s where a theatre is so much better for the audio experience of a consumer.”

Sandman Centre Bill Jaswal
Based on the area market and seating and view limitations, the recent Celtic Illusion show was determined to be ideally suited for 1,500 people in Kamloops. With no performance space that size, it was held in a large, mostly vacant (much of Sandman Centre was closed off) 5,500-seat arena — the only performance space in Kamloops that could accommodate the event.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

Celtic Illusion has since taken its show from Kamloops to the Lower Mainland, where it performed this week in theatres. It is unclear how many acts have opted against performing in Sandman Centre.

However, Jaswal said he knows of acts that travel through Kamloops — even staying overnight if they need a break for drivers — without performing.

Therein lies the opportunity for the proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts, he said. Outside of Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, Jaswal said no theatre space accommodates 1,200 to 1,500 people. He said the arts centre would be a novel performance space (1,200 seats) in the B.C. Interior.

“I know shows that are coming through, just stopping, staying in hotels for their bus drivers and then leaving eight hours later — without doing a show,” Jaswal said.

“Because it could have fallen on a hockey game night and the Sagebrush is next to impossible to book. Just because of our traffic, how people from the Lower Mainland get to Alberta, they come right through Kamloops.”

The promoter envisions booking up-and-coming artists, golden oldies, speakers and comedians in the arts centre, if it proceeds. For a sample of potential offerings, Jaswal said one need only check on which shows are being booked at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. Celtic Illusion performed there this week.

Jaswal said performers who have bypassed Kamloops in the past due to venue concerns include Dallas Green, Diana Krall and Sarah McLaughlin’s solo act.

Big arena names would continue to perform at Sandman Centre, he said, though smaller rock shows could be held at the arts centre.

Smaller rock shows have been performed at Sagebrush Theatre in the past and Jaswal said the 1,200-seat arts centre theatre would be adaptable for such shows, with the hiring of increased security.

“It works currently in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto,” he said.

“All of those shows are adaptable to go in. But, yes, there are certain shows, like electronic shows, or EDM shows, it’s not going to happen. It’s more of a performing arts, a public speaking, comedian, contemporary music type of venue.”

Sandman Centre Bill Jaswal crews
Transforming Sandman Centre from a hockey arena to a performing-arts venue involves covering the ice with 520 composite boards, removing glass from the boards, rolling up protective netting, retracting bleachers, setting up handrails, lighting and audio and building a stage. – Dave Eagles/KTW

THE KELOWNA FACTOR

In addition to being booked up, the 690-seat school district-owned Sagebrush Theatre isn’t always as attractive as the Little Apple’s 853-seat Kelowna Community Theatre.

But if the Kamloops Centre for the Arts is built, it would trump Kelowna’s mid-sized performance venue.

River City residents may recall when Riverside Coliseum was built in the early 1990s, only to see Kelowna erect the slightly larger Prospera Place a few years later. Sandman seats 5,500, while Prospera has a seating capacity of up to 8,000 for various concerts.

Prospera Place has been known to draw acts like Elton John and Jerry Seinfeld, performers who did not come to Kamloops. Jaswal said the reason is those 1,200 extra seats. Still, a smaller community like Penticton sometimes draws acts that do not come to Kamloops.

“Just do simple math — 1,200 times $100 per ticket [$120,000],” Jaswal said.

“That money is not going to the artist. They have more capacity and you have one night you can spend in the Okanagan. Aren’t you going to go where you can maximize your return?” he said.

“The other thing is, at the end of the day, the more successful shows you have, the easier it is to land shows. If you’re selling out shows and you’re doing well in bringing the right shows and you get momentum going, people say, ‘Hey, I want to stop and do that.’”

Would Kelowna build a facility to render Kamloops Centre for the Arts inferior? Not likely, according to Jaswal.

“They’ve been talking about it for a number of years, but it’s not gotten anywhere,” he said.

(In November, Kelowna council looked at a report on city land downtown, with a new arts centre mentioned as a possibility, perhaps in the next five to 10 years.)

“The problem is, they’re at 860 and they don’t have an active symphony and theatre group, so they have a lot more avails,” Jaswal said. “They can fit in a lot more shows. Kamloops has so many user groups. I think when the trussing issue happened and Sagebrush was closed, I think every dance group in Kamloops had their performance in here [Sandman Centre].”

COULD ARTS CENTRE FREE UP ICE TIME?

As for what would happen to Sandman Centre should shows like Celtic Illusion be redirected to an arts centre, Jaswal pointed to a shortage of ice in the city following the 2015 closure of the privately owned Ice Box Arena.

Freeing up some space in Sandman Centre could have a ripple effect, he said.

“Think about this, all of the user groups who would have been using the ice today are not,” Jaswal said.

“They have to find space elsewhere because the ice won’t be turned around until 10 a.m., 9 a.m. tomorrow [day after show] morning. There’s always those people, but then there’s other things going on that could make use of this facility.

“I’m not saying Sandman Centre doesn’t have its place for live shows.

“You will not be able to put Cirque du Soleil in an arts centre. You will not be able to put those big, 5,000-capacity rock concerts in that.

“But you will be able to take a lot of shows that are being done, like tonight’s show [Celtic Illusion] or shows that have been done in the past, where we’ve tried to compromise to put them in here, but they’d be better suited in a performing-arts centre.”

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Apple iOS 15.5 Release: Should You Upgrade? – Forbes

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Apple iOS 15.5 has arrived and it is an extremely important update, but not for the reasons you might expect. So should you upgrade? Here’s everything you need to know.

Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up to date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.

Who Is It For?

Apple iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 have been released for all iOS 15-compatible devices, this means the iPhone 6S (2015) and newer and iPad Mini 4 (2015) and newer. I must warn you that there are now concerns around delays to the auto-update process, so the best method is to trigger it manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running newer beta software (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update will appear.

Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates or iPadOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides.

The Deal Breakers

Jailbreakers, nothing has changed. Unc0ver and checkra1n continue to be stumped by iOS 15 and with critical security updates in this update (spoilers), I’d suggest you switch priorities and upgrade.

For everyone else, the first 24 hours is promising. While I have seen isolated reports from upgraders of poor network reception, screen wake up failing during calls and missing FaceTime notifications there has been no momentum around any of these so far. Reddit and Apple Support Communities are also quiet.

As always, I will continue to monitor this as more users upgrade.

So What Do You Get?

Apple’s official iOS 15.5 release notes read as follows:

– Wallet now enables Apple Cash customers to send and request money from their Apple Cash card

– Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones

– Fixes an issue where home automations, triggered by people arriving or leaving, may fail

Unsurprisingly, the release notes don’t mention the biggest news in iOS 15.5: the new Macs leaked in its beta code. Expect big news from Apple here at WWDC on June 6.

Aside from this, the potentially transformative introduction in iOS 15.5 is the ability to now receive money through Apple Cash not just send it. This could have a huge impact for small businesses, stall traders, etc. It’s also useful for getting friends/family to quickly pay their debts!

And yet the most significant reason you should upgrade to iOS 15.5 is security. The official iOS 15.5 security page reveals no less than 34 security patches. The good news is there are no known ‘Zero-Day’ vulnerabilities (flaws which hackers are actively exploiting before a fix can be issued) but there is a wide range of affected areas, including: graphics, memory, Apple Notes, Shortcuts, WiFi and WebKit (the engine that powers Safari) and Safari Private Browsing.

Apple iOS 15.5 Verdict: Upgrade

Despite a dumpster fire launch, iOS 15 is now a very polished platform. Few releases in recent months have had serious problems and iOS 15.5 looks like another solid entry to this list as Apple winds it down ahead of iOS 16.

For the most hesitant, bookmark this guide. I will continue to update it with any relevant flaws or features I find and you will receive my final verdict here in one week.

The Road Ahead

At the time of publication, Apple has not released a new iOS 15 beta and while several ‘minor point’ releases (iOS 15.5.1, etc) are likely, I would be surprised to see another major point upgrade (iOS 15.6) before the launch of iOS 16.

And we will see that soon. Apple will debut iOS 16 at WWDC 2022 which kicks off on June 6 and early leaks suggest our hopes should be high. Developer and public betas will follow, though reports claim test builds are buggier than normal which may delay this.

Apple has settled into a one-good-one-bad pattern for generational iOS releases in recent years (iOS 13 – bad, iOS 14 – good, iOS 15 – bad), so let’s hope iOS 16 doesn’t break the trend. We are due a good one.

___

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Wordle Game Help: 5-letter words starting with 'S' and ending with 'R' – Dot Esports

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Wordle is a fun and casual game played by many players every day. Its simplicity and ease of sharing match results on social media were an essential part of its success. It wasn’t long before the game, created by Josh Wardle, conquered the internet and was acquired by the New York Times. It makes sense since Wordle brings that feel of crossword games in the newspapers. Many players even like to play Wordle in the morning over coffee.

There are many different types of Wordle players. Some are more casual and enjoy playing games when they are bored or have some free time, logging into the New York Times website during breaks during work or on the go on their mobile devices.

There are those players who prefer to take the game more seriously and engage in discovering strategies, researching which words are best to start with, and doing everything possible to keep their winning streaks recorded on the Wordle website and shared on their social networks.

It doesn’t matter if you are a more casual gamer or a hardcore one. If you play Wordle often, it is very likely you have come across secret words that are more difficult to discover than others. It is part of the game, as every day new words are chosen. And in these more difficult times, a little online help may come in handy.

If you’ve used several of your attempts but only managed to find that the secret word of the day starts with the letter ‘S’ and ends with the letter ‘R’, here are some five-letter words starting with ‘S’ and ending with ‘R’, sorted alphabetically so you’ll have less work to do with filtering your choices by the letters you’ve already eliminated.

Five-letter words starting with ‘S’ and ending with ‘R’ to try on Wordle

  • saber
  • sabir
  • safer
  • sager
  • saker
  • saner
  • sapor
  • satyr
  • saver
  • savor
  • sawer
  • sayer
  • scaur
  • scour
  • seder
  • senor
  • serer
  • sever
  • sewar
  • sewer
  • sexer
  • shear
  • sheer
  • shier
  • shirr
  • shiur
  • shoer
  • shyer
  • sieur
  • siker
  • simar
  • sitar
  • siver
  • sixer
  • sizar
  • sizer
  • skier
  • skirr
  • slier
  • slyer
  • smear
  • sneer
  • sober
  • sofar
  • solar
  • sonar
  • sopor
  • sorer
  • sowar
  • sower
  • spear
  • speer
  • speir
  • spier
  • spoor
  • stair
  • steer
  • stour
  • suber
  • sudor
  • sugar
  • super
  • surer
  • swear
  • sweer

All the words on this list are accepted by Wordle and will give you more clues as to which letters are present or not in the word of the day until you get it right. Another good tip to get it right as early as possible is to find which other vowels are present in the word of the day to narrow down your options. Beware of words that may have repeated letters and don’t forget to try words you already know first, since Wordle tends to choose more common words as the right answer.

These tips should help you complete your latest Wordle task.

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Sony readies for metaverse revolution with cross-platform push – Yahoo Canada Finance

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By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese conglomerate Sony Group Corp said it is well-positioned to play a leading role in the metaverse, or immersive virtual worlds, which commentators speculate will massively disrupt industries and establish new powerhouses.

The metaverse is a vague term encapsulating the idea that consumers will spend more time in online simulated environments. While the concept is evolving, it has become a buzzword in briefings and a driver of industry dealmaking.

“The metaverse is at the same time a social space and live network space where games, music, movies and anime intersect,” Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida said at a strategy briefing on Wednesday, pointing to the use of free-to-play battle royale title Fortnite from Epic Games as an online social space.

Sony’s game, music and movie units contributed two-thirds of operating income in the year ended March, underscoring the group’s transformation from consumer electronics maker into a metaverse-ready entertainment juggernaut under Yoshida and predecessor Kazuo Hirai.

The firm is a gaming gatekeeper with its PlayStation 5 console, however observers point to the risk presented by the growth of cross-platform, cloud-based titles and their potential to reduce the influence of proprietary platforms.

Sony has been adjusting its approach, enabling cross-play in Fortnite in 2018. This week, Epic said in-game “V-Bucks” currency purchased on PlayStation would be usable on other platforms.

“PlayStation has played a huge role in the social gaming revolution that’s nurturing the growth of the metaverse as a new entertainment medium,” Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter.

Sony has also taken steps to expand beyond its focus on single-player titles such as “Spider-Man: Miles Morales”, with a deal announced in January to buy Bungie, the developer of online multi-player shooter “Destiny”.

“We believe it will be a catalyst to enhance our live service game capabilities… (It) represents a major step forward in becoming multi-platform,” Yoshida said.

Sony already licences its content to other platforms, profiting from the value to streamers of content such as popular U.S. sitcom “Seinfeld”. Though the firm owns the Crunchyroll anime streaming service, it has not pushed as aggressively into operating its own video platforms as rivals such as Walt Disney Co with its Disney+ service.

Beyond the metaverse, Yoshida also staked out Sony’s claim in mobility, with the conglomerate developing an electric vehicle with Honda Motor Co Ltd.

Sony created a new lifestyle in 1979 with the launch of the Walkman, Yoshida said.

“We are aiming to turn the mobility space into a new entertainment space… We believe mobility will be the next megatrend,” he said.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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