Oscar, meet Eddie

By Lawrence Bailey

The party of the year. The place to see and be seen. A great fucking time. There are a million and one ways to describe the Big Rock Eddies and none will ever do them justice.

Ed McNally is one of Calgary’s favourite sons, and the Eddies are one of the city’s favourite events. The amateur beer commercial festival has gone from a unique marketing strategy and opportunity for local artisans to have their work shown in 1994 to a staple of the Calgary scene today. Once a place where local filmmakers had a monopoly, recent submissions have come from around the world.

Somewhere between a carnival and an award show, the Eddies are an event if ever there was one. This year, the evening’s tenth anniversary, continued to build the reputation. There were men and women dressed to the nines cruising through the lobby of the Jubilee Auditorium flanked by divas decked out in evening gowns made of Calgary Heralds. There was karaoke, performers on stilts, countless local restaurateurs feeding the masses and, of course, awards to be doled out.

This year guests were treated to a double shot of hilarity as an Eddie was given to 2003’s top submission as well as the “Eddie of the Decade.” This is the lone award show where the formula of an overweight, scantily-clad man flashdancing won the crowd over as well as the celebrity judges.

The beauty of an auditorium full of half-cut, energetic party-goers is that it generates an amazing, electric environment. The audience is definitely part of the whole Eddies spectacular, heckling hosts, presenters and award recipients and rowdily voicing their approval during the amusing shorts–it’s as if Calgary had its very own Apollo Theater.

Once the awards are presented and the politically incorrect, innuendo-ridden spectacle has drawn to a close, the party starts. The beer–five free and then a buck apiece with all proceeds going to charity–starts flowing, the music starts pumping, and the revelers do it up until the wee hours.

For all the great things the Eddies are–a medium for amateur filmmakers to strut their stuff and a fund raiser for both the Calgary Women’s Emergency Centre and One Yellow Rabbit theatre company–they are first and foremost a great party. They must be if both Ralph Klein and Harvey Weingarten are there representin’.

Leave a comment