Hipster King to fight for alderman throne

By ├ćndrew Rininsland

Zak Pashak: owner of inner-city bar Broken City Social Club, founder and festival director of Sled Island music festival and . . . politician?

Pashak declared his candidacy in early August for Ward 8 alderman. While the municipal writ doesn’t drop until October 2010, Pashak said in his Aug. 5 address that he intends to use social media to help build grassroots support against incumbent John Mar.

Citing concerns ranging from tax rates to public transit and road planning, Pashak’s platform runs a gamut of issues designed to highlight the importance of the downtown core to the city’s cultural and economic development.

He takes particular issue with how developers have been allowed to “get rich as ‘new communities’ proliferate,” stating the disproportionately higher taxes paid by downtown residents result in “roadways to the suburbs.”

Pashak is well-known in Calgary’s arts community for founding the critically-acclaimed Sled Island music festival, which featured over 170 bands in its third year.

The 28-year-old also owns Broken City Social Club, a four time winner of FFWD Weekly’s Best of Calgary “Best Live Music Venue” award, which he opened when he was 23.

Pashak’s father, Barry Pashak, is a former NDP MLA and his mother, Jackie Flanagan, is the founding editor of Alberta Views.