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Shannon McClennan

Arts and culture, politics, gender relations, and things in between

Shannon McClennan-Taylor is a Calgary writer, blogger, poet, communications specialist, and arts/culture junkie. She has a Bachelor or Arts in English Literature from the University of Calgary and a Master of Arts in International Journalism from Leeds University, UK. Shannon has done time as a communications specialist in big business and not-for-profit, and currently works in provincial politics. Her graduate thesis, Advertisements, gender and violence: Examining violence against women in contemporary western advertising (2006) explored graphic depictions of violence, abuse and sexual assault used in western print advertising to sell products, typically to women. She continues to take an active interest in gender relations and the gendered politics of violence.

When not writing or ranting about something (politics, gender (in)equality, etc.) you’ll find her reading, sewing, doing yoga, sleeping, and taking in the local arts and culture scene—but rarely at the same time. You can follow her on Twitter and check out her rarely-updated personal blog for more.
'My Internship In Canada' is a CIFF 2015

'My Internship In Canada' is a CIFF 2015 Must-See

My Internship in Canada focuses on the experiences of Souverain Pascal, recently arrived from Haiti on a mission to secure an internship in Canadian federal politics. Souverain receives a single response from Independent Member of Parliament, Steve Guibord. Souverain is thrust into the deep end when MP Guibord -- through a series of unlikely and surprising events -- holds the deciding vote in whether Canada will send troops to support the looming war.
10/01/2015 11:33 EDT
Why You Must See Opera in the Village's 'The

Why You Must See Opera in the Village's 'The Mikado'

Gilbert and Sullivan's campy, screwball-esque comedy production is a satirical romp set in "exotic Japan". With deliberately laughable character and place names, 'The Mikado' pokes fun at the British political system, setting their criticism of Queen and country in a distant locale to soften the impact of their pointed satire.
08/20/2015 05:09 EDT
Premiers, Pumpkins, and a Bonus Soup

Premiers, Pumpkins, and a Bonus Soup Recipe

. Growing up, we've all heard the story of Cinderella, and how a pumpkin was transformed into a magnificent coach. But this is the first time I've heard of a premier turning into a pumpkin, or vice versa, as the case may be.
10/17/2014 02:59 EDT
Why You Need To Visit The Calgary Underground Film

Why You Need To Visit The Calgary Underground Film Festival

As a self-admitted film fan, I'll be taking in as many of these underground gems as I can, but even the best of us need a little guidance when it comes to structuring seven days of celluloid immersion. So here I have for you my top picks for this years' Calgary Underground Film Festival.
04/07/2014 02:28 EDT
Systemic Misogyny and the Downfall Of Alison

Systemic Misogyny and the Downfall Of Alison Redford

While there are a myriad of reasons the Premier Redford has faced such heavy criticism, we have to recognize that systemic misogyny -- an entrenched prejudice against women and girls that is inherent in a given system, such as society -- plays at least some part in the story. It's not the only source of the premier's troubles, but it's certainly one piece in the much larger puzzle.
03/22/2014 01:51 EDT
From TIFF to


Leading up to their 37th year, TIFF announced a fantastic lineup of films that--if films were chocolate--would make a cinema buff salivate. While the complete listing is a smorgasbord of foreign, local, big-name and independent items, there are a few that I particularly want to see. So here you have just a handful of entries on Shannon's list of films she hopes will make their way from TIFF to CIFF this year.
09/06/2013 02:39 EDT
The Attack: A Film Well Worth

The Attack: A Film Well Worth Seeing

I love film. Foreign and documentary, quirky and Indie; I even enjoy the occasional Hollywood Box Office buster or blunder. But my favorite films are the ones you don't see coming; the ones you have to pay attention to; the ones that force you outside of a black-and-white comfort zone and into the "grey area". Films like The Attack.
09/06/2013 02:24 EDT
Consensual Rape and the Culture of Victim

Consensual Rape and the Culture of Victim Blaming

This isn't the blog post I intended to write as my first contribution to Huffington Post Alberta. A lover of the arts, I wanted to be lightness and color, attempting--in my own way--to bring more much deserved attention to Calgary's burgeoning arts and culture scene. But then, things happen that derail me. Things like the 2013 Wimbledon women's champion--Marion Bartoli--being verbally assaulted online because she's "too ugly to win"(more on that later) and Marte Deborah Dalelv, of Norway, being acquitted of consensual rape following a business trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
07/29/2013 05:55 EDT