Arts & CultureCampus & City

EGO magazine’s second volume uplifts Edmonton’s unique artistic community

Edmonton Goes Off continues to break the mold of music publications, producing a hybrid of digital and live performances.

As Edmonton gears up for festival season, it can be hard to believe that attending live music performances was not a guarantee just a few short years ago.

Born out of the uncertain music scene during the COVID-19 pandemic, Edmonton Goes Off (EGO) magazine showcases local artists on a highly accessible and aesthetically attuned platform — Instagram.

Ty Ferguson The Victors band for EGO

In 2021, The Gateway conducted an interview with Tom Tunski, one of the founders of EGO, about the release of their first volume. Featuring over 20 artists in a 15 part series, the volume included both recorded performances and interviews with the artists.

Two years later, I interviewed Tunski about how much has changed for EGO’s second volume. The magazine has been busy expanding its outreach, diversifying featured performances, and hosting monthly live shows.

Supplied Behind the scenes at EGO

Even more, EGO is working on branching out to different social media platforms.

“So being on YouTube, being on TikTok, being on Facebook. Having reels cut of our full videos, and just maximizing the reach that we can have with our content, since we’re only able to release for six months out of the year,” said Tunski

EGO has also seen an expansion in production. The team nearly tripled in size and is working with several sponsors and partners that have helped EGO expand its operations. These include the Edmonton Arts Council, the Void Studios, Sokaris Studios, Find Furniture, and Long and McQuade.

Tunski emphasized the opportunities that exist to support local musicians in Edmonton, such as grants from the Edmonton Arts Council. He stated that EGO intends to be another platform that helps artists find success.

Aliya Logun Musician Amanda Gendron for EGO

“There are people in this city that are here to support you. There’s infrastructure here to support you. There’s grant funding that’s here to support and keep artists in Edmonton. You just have to look for it. EGO is just one of those things. There’s tons of other resources out there to help elevate artists here.”

Besides new partnerships, EGO has also started to include other artistic performers, not exclusively musicians. The most recent 19th issue features the dancer Ivan Touko.

Viewers can look forward to more diverse artistic work, such as poetry performance, a fashion brand feature, and visual art.

Further experimentation with artistic mediums is a possibility for EGO’s future, Tunski said.

Supplied Tom Tunski, co-founder of EGO

“We’re really just trying to push the limits of what EGO can be.”

The latest volume also features a wider variety of musical genres. Tunski said that he and one of his and co-founders, David Madawo, came from the hip-hop scene, so the majority of musical acts featured in the first volume were rappers.

“This time, we really wanted to expand and challenge what we think we can do. We want to represent Edmonton as much as possible. Not just the music and art that we’re personally drawn to, but stuff that really represents the city. And I think this time, we did a pretty good job. But, there’s always room to keep doing more stuff.”

Tunski shared why EGO’s mission to nurture a vibrant community of local artists is so important.

He cited interviews with artists in which they discussed underground music scenes, like grunge, that became mainstream because they had support and well-established connections within a localized area. Tunski hopes to see something similar happen with EGO that will benefit musicians and audiences alike, as local acts are more affordable and just as enjoyable as bigger ones.


“Why not invest in the people that you can go see a couple times a year? That support also goes so much further for local artists than it does for [any] of those bigger artists. You can literally see people’s growth and you can be their friends. I find people are pretty friendly here and they want to engage their community.”

To give Edmonton the opportunity to connect with its local talent, EGO is also hosting monthly live performances at CO*LAB throughout the release of its second volume. The first event on May 5 will have a networking session, music, and an afterparty from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m..

Katie O'Connor

Katie O’Connor was the 2023-2024 Managing Editor at The Gateway. She previously served as the 2022-23 Deputy Arts & Culture Editor. She is in her fourth year studying English and art history. Katie attends every concert that she can, and spends most of her free time traveling, writing, or reading with a cat on her lap.

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