Architecture Week

This week-long celebration of architecture as both an art form and expression of ingenuity when it comes to the functional quality of our built environment is being hosted by the Saskatchewan Association of Architects.

Architecture Week runs May 30-June 3, and the theme this year is Saskatchewan Savoir-Faire.

Feature events include: a screening of the documentary Collaborations  about British architect David Adjaye (RPL Theatre, May 30 at 7 p.m.); the Lt. Governor’s Architectural Heritage Awards (Government House, May 31 at 5:30 p.m.); a public lecture/panel on the quality of Saskatchewan architecture (Royal Saskatchewan Museum, June 1 at 7 p.m.); a lecture by Norwegian architect Vanessa Kassabian (Hotel Saskatchewan, June 2 at 7 p.m.); and finally the Prairie Design Awards (MacKenzie Gallery, June 3 at 5:30 p.m.)

You can find more information on the above-linked website. And if you want to get a head start on contemplating design issues related to our built environment you can drop by the RPL Theatre on Thursday May 26. At 7 p.m. there will be a free screening of the documentary Edge of the Possible which examines the epic saga of the construction of one of the world’s most iconic buildings — the Sydney Opera House, which from initial design onward took from 1959-73 to complete. The screening is sponsored by the RPL, Regina Advocates for Design, OPEN and the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation.

To close, here’s an excerpt from the David Adjaye documentary Collaborations

The Ladies Foursome

LadiesFoursomeThis is last main stage play of the Globe Theatre’s 2015-16 season. It’s by Canadian playwright Norm Foster, who has drawn comparisons to American playwright Neil Simon in terms of his popularity and the frequency with which his work is produced by Canadian theatres.

The Ladies Foursome concerns a group of three golfing buddies who hit the course following the death of a woman who used to round out their foursome. While on the course they are joined by a woman they’ve never met before, and the play unfolds from there.

Max Reimer is the director, and the women are played by Deborah Drakeford, Melanie Janzen, Elana Post and Jamie Lee Shebelski.

The Ladies Foursome runs from May 25-June 12, and you can find ticket information on the Globe website.

The Addams Family

The Addams Family started out as a one-panel cartoon series by Charles Addams that was meant to satirize the ideal American family. Addams began the cartoon in 1938, and the New Yorker magazine was one of the popular publishing venues.

From there, the Addams Family morphed into a TV sitcom which ran from 1964-66 on ABC. Then in the 1990s there were three feature length films released featuring the eccentric family, and finally in 2010 a full-fledged musical hit Broadway.

Three guesses as to which incarnation of the Addams Family narrative Regina Lyric Musical Theatre will be tackling? If you guessed the Broadway musical, you’d be right. The production is being directed by Robert Ursan, and will run at the University of Regina Theatre from May 25-27 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday May 28.

You can find out more information on the RLMT website. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s the Broadway cast performing “When You’re Addams” on Late Night With Letterman in 2010

Daniel Cross

Canadian documentary filmmaker Daniel Cross is in Regina later this week. On Tuesday, May 24 the Saskatchewan Filmpool is hosting a session at the Regina Public Library where Cross will be in conversation with Regina filmmaker Mark Wihak about his 20-year career in film. That goes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and more information can be found on the Sask. Filmpool website.

The following night, Wednesday May 25, there will be a free screening of Cross’s latest documentary I Am The Blues at the RPL Film Theatre at 7 p.m. The documentary sees Cross journey to the American South to visit with some of the original innovators of southern blues who are now in their senior years.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Cross. Here’s the trailer for I Am The Blues

Epic-Tom

You can get a bit more information on this event, which goes Saturday May 21 at 8 p.m. at Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum, by visiting the gallery’s website.

Julie Andreyev and Simon Overstall are the two principles, and they’ll be collaborating with Regina Symphony Orchestra members Simon MacDonald (violin), Simon Fryer (cello) and Marie-Noelle (flute) to create a sound art performance. Apparently there’s also some canine involvement, with various new media techniques such as motion capture and live animation used to riff on the interspecies relationship between people and dogs.

Again, Epic-Tom goes Saturday at 8 p.m., and once it’s over video documentation of the work will be on display at Neutral Ground (203-1856 Scarth) until July 7. Admission to the concert is $10.

Cathedral Village Arts Festival

2016poster (2)Prairie Dog has partnered with the Cathedral Village Arts Festival since 2000 to produce the festival’s official program guide. The guide for the 2016 festival went out in our May 12 issue. The CVAF is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and our issue also had look back with author Ken Mitchell and CVAF staffer Deb Jones on how the festival got going way back in 1992.

The 2016 CVAF kicks off with the traditional parade and picnic on the holiday Monday May 23, and features a variety of arts and culture events that run each day until Saturday May 28, when the always popular street fair is held on 13th Ave.

One anniversary highlight is a 5X5 gala that is being held on Friday night that will showcase five different arts disciplines: visual art, music, dance, theatre and literary arts. CVAF artist-in-residence Evie Ruddy has also created a walking tour of the Cathedral neighbourhood that can be accessed by downloading an app. You can read more about it in this CBC report.

You can get more information on all the Cathedral Village Arts Festival activities here.

Snakes Alive: Snakes of Saskatchewan

Photo credit: Darrol Hofmeister
Photo credit: Darrol Hofmeister

If you happened to read the cover story in our May 12 issue you’ll know that the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is getting ready to unveil a new temporary exhibit. The exhibit is devoted to the nine snake species that are native to Saskatchewan, and will include live specimens from each species.

The exhibit has a grand opening on Friday May 20 from 1:30-4 p.m. that will involve a variety of family-friendly activities. Then on Thursday May 26 the exhibit curator Ray Poulin will be giving a talk on snakes at the RSM at 7 p.m. This is a licensed event, but people 19 and under can attend if accompanied by an adult.

The exhibit will be on until May 2017 so if you like snakes you’ll have plenty of opportunities to commune with them at the Royal Sask. Museum in the months to come.

Dome Report

20160516_151328Here’s a photo of the Legislature as preparations were underway this afternoon for the unveiling of the refurbished copper dome. You can read more about the celebration which will start at 7 p.m. tonight with the big reveal at 8 p.m. in this CBC report

You should perhaps dampen your expectations somewhat, though, as I don’t believe the entire dome is going to be revealed. As you can see from the photo there is still a fair bit of scaffolding that needs to be removed so I think what you’ll see tonight is the view from directly north of the Legislature.

G-Ram

G-RamEarlier this season, the Globe Theatre presented a main stage play called The Secret Mask about a man long estranged from his father who must make the difficult decision to care for him in his old age after he’s suffered a stroke.

This play by Saskatchewan playwright Greg Ochitwa, which is being presented as part of the Globe’s Shumiatcher Sandbox Series, has a similar dynamic. In the first instance, though, the dad had abandoned the man’s family when the latter was just a boy, while here the elderly person in need of assistance is a grandmother who served as the sole caregiver for a girl named JP after she lost her parents at a very young age.

In addition to writing G-Ram, Ochitwa is also directing the production. Marianne Woods stars as the grandmother, with Jenna-Lee Hyde as the girl JP, while Mark Claxton plays the role of a nurse.

G-Ram runs at the Globe Theatre from May 19-28, with curtain at 7:30 p.m. Ticket information can be found on the Globe website.

Exciting Goings On On Scarth St. Mall

20160515_065510In early March, I did a post about the huge pile of pigeon excrement that was accumulating on the canopy of one of the office buildings on Scarth Street Mall. The pigeons were drawn to the ledge above the canopy, I noted, by the banner that had been strung on the building for a couple of years that afforded them a convenient place to shelter behind.

The banner was removed a few weeks ago, and as you can see from the above photo, a crew was out bright and early this morning (6:30 a.m. to be precise) to pressure wash the canopy to remove the baked on pigeon poop. So that’s one less eyesore in downtown Regina.

Hitchhikers Improv Festival

Twice a month from fall through spring the local troupe Hitchhikers Improv presents shows at the Artesian in the Cathedral District. This year, the troupe is winding up its season with a three-day festival that will run at the Artesian from May 17-19.

Details were still being firmed up last time I checked, but I know guest improv artists from Winnipeg and Edmonton are on the festival bill, and $10 gets you into both the 8 and the 10 p.m. shows. You can find out more information on the Hitchhikers Improv website.

Five Alive

Tonight the arts hub Creative City Centre is hosting a fifth anniversary party. Located on the second and third floor above what used to be Loggie’s Shoes (now the Capitol Jazz Club) at 1843 Hamilton, CCC was the brainchild of Marian Donnelly and various partners in the arts community.

Since opening five years ago, CCC has hosted scores of concerts, spoken word nights, art exhibits and other events, as well as serving as home base for Articulate Ink print collective and a handful of other arts organizations. It’s been a welcome addition to the downtown, so congratulations are very much are in order.

To find out more about what’s in store tonight, visit the CCC website. The fun starts at 5 p.m., and will include a reception for a textile exhibition by Melanie Monique Rose, live music and open houses at various artist studios.

To give you one example of what the CCC has accomplished, here’s a 2015 video from its Empty Room series featuring Saskatoon singer-songwriter Kirby Criddle performing her song “You Are A Cyclone”

Lowest Of The Low

If you were a fan of indie Canadian rock in the early 1990s the Lowest of the Low out of Toronto was likely on your radar. Fronted by Ron Hawkins (guitars, vocals) with David Alexander (drums), Stephen Stanley (guitar) and John Arnott (bass) the band released two albums Shakespeare My Butt (1991)  and Hallucigenia (1994) before breaking up.

In 2000, the band reunited for a series of live shows that resulted in a live album called Nothing Short of a Bullet. They subsequently released a new studio album called Sordid Fiction in 2004, and have gigged together intermittently since then.

On Friday May 13, the Lowest of the Low — with Dylan Parker (bass) and Lawrence Nichols (keyboard, vocals) joining Hawkins and Alexander — will be in town to play a show at Casino Regina. Backing them up will be the Regina band Coldest Night of the Year.

You can find out more on the Casino Regina website. And to get the memories flowing here’s the video from 2011 of the Lowest of the Low playing their song “For The Hand of Magdelena”

Colter Wall

A relatively new face on the Saskatchewan country/roots music scene, Colter Wall has been garnering a fair bit of attention both in his home province and south of the border. The other day, in fact, Wall played at opening set at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in support of American roots legend Lucinda Williams.

Twenty-one years old, Wall thus far only has one EP to his credit, Imaginary Appalachia, released in 2015. But he’ll likely be adding to his recording output soon.

If you want to check Wall out, he’s playing two sets at Shannon’s Pub at 2118 Robinson St. in the Cathedral area on Saturday May 14. And to give you a sense of what his sound is like, here’s video of him performing a song of his called “The Devil Wears A Suit And Tie”

https://youtu.be/mdvi_b8Xhbs

Release The Bats!

On Thursday May 12 the Saskatchewan Science Centre is hosting an evening event centred around releasing a number of bats that had been hibernating at the centre over the winter.

You can read more on the SSC website,  but doors are at 7:15 p.m., and the actual release of the bats, which should happen around 9:15 p.m., will be preceded by a talk by noted University of Regina bat expert Mark Brigham with input from a grad student named Shelby and a special bat handler at the Science Centre named Sheila.

The event is described as being for all ages, so if you and/or any family members/acquaintances are bat enthusiasts it’s something you might want to check out.

Cirque De La Symphonie

This is the last Shumiatcher Pops concert of the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season, and the RSO is winding things up in style with a guest appearance by an internationally touring group of circus artists who will perform a variety of acts in “concert” with a program of classical and contemporary compositions played by the RSO.

Cirque de la Symphonie will be held on Saturday May 14 at 8 p.m., and ticket information can be found on the RSO website.

To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s a brief promotional trailer:

Mercury Transit

Path of Mercury's transit in 2006 as charted by NASA
Path of Mercury’s transit in 2006 as charted by NASA

On Saturday, universities across Canada held Science Rendezvouses where they invited the public to stop by for all sorts of fun and enlightening activities related to the world of science.

It’s too bad the astronomical event that’s happening Monday didn’t happen on Saturday instead as it’s something most members of the public will need some professional assistance in order to appreciate.

Starting Monday at 5:12 a.m. Regina time Mercury, the innermost planet in our solar system, will begin a transit across the face of the Sun. Mercury orbits the Sun once every 88 days, but because of the way its orbit is tilted in relation to Earth, transits happen only 13 times every century — always in May or November, and visible only from particular areas of Earth depending on the time of day.

Monday’s transit coincides with sunrise in Regina, and will last until 12:42 p.m. So assuming we have cloud-free skies, we’ll have what CBC describes as an “exceptional view”. If you’re an experienced astronomer, you can view the transit through your own equipment. But if you’re in need of professional help you can find some in-person and on-line viewing options here.

Saskatchewan Fashion Week

This is the fifth annual showcase of Saskatchewan fashion and beauty industries. The dates this year are May 12-14, and there’s runway shows featuring creations 22 Saskatchewan-based designers, along with local retailers who will be showcasing their Spring/Summer lines.

If you visit the SFW website you’ll see that the weekend passes for the runway shows are sold-out. Don’t despair, though, as the shows will be live-streamed. As well, there may be some single night and after-party tickets still available.

All the action goes down at the Can-Sask Sound Stage at College Ave. & Broad St. And here’s a recent Leader-Post profile by Irene Sieberling on the SFW founders Chris Pritchard, Candyce Fiessel and Chelsea Petterson.

Saskatchewan Festival Of New Plays

Every year, the Saskatchewan Playwright’s Centre presents a festival of new plays that alternates between Regina and Saskatoon. The plays aren’t actually being mounted in a theatrical sense, but there is a dramaturge (in 2016 it’s Nina Lee Aquino) and four directors who work with the playwrights to polish their plays, which are then give staged readings.

The 2016 Saskatchewan Festival of New Plays is being held May 9-14 at Neutral Ground Art Centre (1856 Scarth St.). You can find out more on the SPC website,  but one highlight promises to be an opening night reception at the gallery on May 9 at 8 p.m. which will feature five collaborations between five dancers/choreographers and five playwrights/theatre artists.

Blast From The Past

MorePosterityWith the temperature expected to hit 31 degrees C this afternoon and the fire risk over a large chunk of western Canada rated as extreme, here’s a shot of Victoria Park in downtown Regina from around this time in 2013. The photo was taken on May 2, and shows the remnants of what was a record snowfall that winter.