I wouldn’t bother checking the long-range forecast for another day or two, but hopefully Saturday June 20 dawns sunny and warm without much wind. Not that the people organizing and participating in this juried craft sale can’t handle a little adverse weather conditions. But for the 6000 or so people who attend Bazaart each year, the event is always a little more pleasant when the weather cooperates.

The 42nd annual Bazaart runs at the MacKenzie Gallery grounds on Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Around 120 artisans will have booths set up, and there will also be all sorts of arts and entertainment options both outdoors and inside the gallery. In the latter category is the David Thauberger retrospective which is on display until Sept. 6.

Admission is $5, while children 12 and under are admitted free.

Queen City Pride

This annual celebration of the LGBTQ community in Regina runs from June 15-21. You can find out more about all the events that will be happening by visiting the Queen City Pride website.

Some of the highlights include a kick off Pride Unleashed party at the Mercury Café in the Cathedral District on June 15 at 9:30 p.m., along with a Pride Awards gala at the Executive Royal Hotel (4025 Albert St.) on June 17 at 8 p.m., and the annual Pride Parade through downtown Regina on June 20 at noon.

There’s also a Queen City Pride art exhibition reception at Central Library on June 15 at 7 p.m., a presentation on Regina’s hidden LGBTQ history at Central Library on June 18 at 7 p.m., plus a talk on June 20 at 3 p.m. at the RPL Film Theatre called Cyborg Sashay! that explores different technologies that performers can use to take  burlesque and drag to a whole new level.

That’s only scratching the surface, of course. So check out the above-linked website for all the details.

Pop Up Downtown

Heather Benning (Cow)Above is a shot of a recently installed art work by Heather Benning in Hill Tower II that is part of a summer-long public art display called Pop Up Downtown that is running in underused downtown spaces. If you click the above link, you’ll see that 10 artists are involved, and work has been installed at nine different locations.

I posted on Heather Benning on June 1 in relation to a show she has opening at Slate Gallery Thursday June 11. In Our June 11 issue, in fact, I’ll have an interview with Benning about her show.

As far as her contribution to Pop Up Downtown goes, the theme the artists are working with is Absence/Presence. Born and raised on a Saskatchewan farm, Benning has long been interested in examining the changing nature of rural life. The ghost-like quality of the cow could be seen as a lament for the declining vibrancy of rural communities as family farms are swallowed up by larger-scale agribusinesses.

The cow’s emaciated state, meanwhile, especially in comparison with the bronze Joe Fafard cow located across the pedestrian mall in Hill Tower I, suggests a certain impoverishment that comes with the loss of family and communal bonds when economic pressures force people from their homes and livelihoods.

As well, the cow sits on piece of artificial turf which could be seen as a comment on large-scale farming practices which don’t always provide the best outcomes for the environment, the animals that farmers raise and the crops they produce, and ultimately, the food we eat.

Tonight there’s a reception for the artists involved in Pop Up Downtown at the Capitol Jazz Club at 1843 Hamilton. It’s at 5 p.m., and there will be a walking tour of the nine installations at 6 p.m. The art will be up in the downtown until late August.    

Treaty Talks

Not actual treaty talks, as those were held 140 years or so when the Canadian government under Conservative Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, was looking to open up western Canada to settlement. In order to do that, indigenous groups who had inhabited the region for millennia had to be persuaded to give up their lands and settle on reserves.

As James Daschuk outlined in his 2013 book Clearing the Plains, the federal government and its agents in the West used all sorts of dirty tricks to enforce compliance among resident First Nations. The track record of governments since then in honouring the terms of the treaties hasn’t been great either, and all sorts of misconceptions have sprung up over the years, furthering the divide between indigenous people and settlers.

On Saturday June 6 Central Library is hosting a presentation by a speaker from the Office of Treaty Commissioner, who will offer some background about the treaties and the terms they contain. The presentation will run from 2-4 p.m. Refreshments will be provided, and you’re asked to register in advance on the RPL website.

Imagine Downtown

Regina Downtown Business Improvement District is going to be holding some focus groups and town hall meetings to generate some dialogue around the downtown. Here’s some background on the idea as laid out by RDBID:

What is Imagine Downtown?
Over the next few months, RDBID will be leading the Imagine Downtown initiative, a very visible and inclusive public dialogue that will explore the experiences and perspectives of our stakeholders to better understand their view of the downtown today, and their hopes for the future.

What’s This All For?
The insights, information and perspectives gained through Imagine Downtown will be used to craft a compelling vision that truly reflects the public’s perceptions, opinions, ideas and priorities pertaining to Regina’s Downtown, and inform the development of RDBID’s strategic plan, which will help guide RDBID programs, activities, capital investments and advocacy work in the downtown.

Image Downtown is About You!
Downtown is everyone’s neighborhood. And Imagine Downtown is everyone’s opportunity to voice their perspectives. We want you stories, your experiences, your memories, your concerns, and your ideas regarding Regina’s downtown. What do you love about Regina’s downtown? What needs to change?

Let’s Talk
Attend one of our upcoming focus groups or town hall sessions to share your stories and ideas and voice your perspectives on a wide range of topics about Regina’s downtown. Or, drop by the Imagine Downtown pop-up location to learn more about Regina’s downtown and add your ideas to the conversation.

I guess the launch was on May 14 at the DoubleTree Hilton, and there’s a town hall scheduled for the MacKenzie Art Gallery June 11 at 4 p.m. You can find out more on the Imagine Downtown website.

Queen City Catch Up: John Klein On The UPass, Downtown Buses And Not Dying (Podcast)

Before I say anything about this episode of the Queen City Catch Up podcast… I’ve noticed almost everybody listening is streaming it through the Souncloud window. That’s cool but I want to point out that I’ve enabled downloads so you can totally click that down-arrow link in the top right corner then put these podcasts on the listening device of your choosing.

As for episode two of Queen City Catch Up, it’s a conversation with John Klein, the Saskboy behind Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff blog. We talk about the UPass coming to the University of Regina, a surprise change to the buses downtown and the pros and cons of becoming a cyborg.

Once again, music for this podcast is from Malta’s Lost Voices, a compilation of Maltese music from the 1930s. Thanks to Filfla Records for giving me permission to use the tracks. (You can check them out at

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be talking with Chris Kailing from Regina Advocates for Design about Urbanity 101. That will go up on Monday.

Jane’s Walk

If you feel like slipping on your walking shoes this weekend, the seventh annual Jane’s Walk Regina is happening on Saturday May 2 and Sunday May 3. As with the previous six, Regina Urban Ecology is the organizer.

You can find out more about the eight walks that are on the 2015 program on the Jane’s Walk website. The walks include one tied to the history of Wascana Creek/Lake and its impact on the local environment, another looking at Canterbury Park which is an infill development on the old Archdiocese lands on the southeast corner of Broad and College, and a third hosted by a new urban planning group that’s sprung up in town called Urbanity 101 that will discuss urban design and planning principles in Regina’s core neighbourhoods.

Other walks will look at the power of community, the path of the 1912 tornado, spots associated with peace and war in Regina, Regina’s early beginnings, and the new Heritage neighbourhood that is emerging east of Broad between College Ave. and Sask. Drive.  The last walk will be led by Ward 3 councilor Shawn Fraser.

There’s six walks on Saturday, with the first starting at 10 a.m. and the last at 4 p.m. There’s three more walks on Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. with the last one at 1:30 p.m. The walks go rain or shine, so be sure to check the forecast and dress appropriately.

Saskatchewan Fashion Week

Saskatchewan Fashion Week happens only once a year for a single weekend. But in 2015, organizers have you covered for the whole year. That’s because during SFW 2015 local retailers will be showcasing spring/summer style trends, while 23 Canadian designers will be debuting their fall/winter collections.

Saskatchewan Fashion Week is being held May 7-9 in expanded facilities at the Canada Saskatchewan Sound Stage on the corner of Broad St. and College Ave. For ticket information on the runway shows, and details on who the participating designers and retailers are, visit the SFW website.

As you can see if check out the website, if you can’t make it to the actual event, the runway shows will be live-streamed. The host this year is former Regina resident Ryan Massel who has carved out a reputation for himself in the fashion world as a Calgary-based blogger under the tag Mr. Fabulous.

Here’s a short promo video where Massel introduces himself as SFW 2015 host

Fan Expo Regina

We [by we, I mean Steve, Aidan, Carl and perhaps one or two others] blogged the crap out of the inaugural version of this event last year. Things went so well for organizers that it was pretty much a no-brainer that a second Fan Expo would be held in 2015.

The event’s been bumped up a week compared to last year, when it was in early May. The 2015 Fan Expo Regina goes Saturday April 25 and Sunday April 26 at Canada Centre Building at Evraz Place.

You can find out more on the Fan Expo Regina website.  Celebrity guests include Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: Next Generation), Lawrence Gilliard (The Walking Dead), Shannen Doherty (Charmed), Margot Kidder (Superman) and Jeremy Bulloch (Star Wars, Dr. Who).

While the celebs get lots of attention, the real stars of the show are probably all the fans who show up in costumes celebrating their love of science-fiction, comics, anime, horror and other niche nerd cultures. As well, there’s always lots of writers, artists, illustrators and other content creators who have loyal fans of their own. And there’s no shortage of retailers too offering products tied to favourite shows, movies, books and characters.

On Saturday the expo runs from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., while on Sunday the hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Still Alice

At the Academy Awards in February, you might recall, Julianne Moore snagged the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of a 50-year-old professor of linguistics named Alice Howland who is struggling to cope with the effects of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

While dementia always exacts a terrible toll on person, the irony for Moore’s character is especially acute as she’s forced to confront the reality that her love of language and ability to communicate are slipping away and that there’s little medical science can to do slow, let alone halt, her decline. And that inevitably impacts on her relationship with her family, friends and colleagues.

Still Alice plays tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. Here’s the trailer

Celebrate The Flag

Canadian_Red_Ensign_1957-1965.svgOn Feb. 15 Canada marked the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the familiar red maple leaf as the Canadian flag. There was considerable controversy at the time, with the federal Progressive Conservatives under John Diefenbaker reluctant to replace the existing Canadian Red Ensign (pictured) with its strong symbolic link to the British Commonwealth. But the Liberal government under Lester Pearson felt that with the country’s centennial looming in 1967, the time was ripe for Canada to have its own distinct flag.

In the run-up to the 50th anniversary, the current federal government was criticized for not doing enough to commemorate the milestone — ostensibly because it was initiated by a Liberal government, and in today’s hyper partisan political climate only the accomplishments of Conservative governments are worth noting.

At Saskatchewan’s Government House, though, a special exhibition has been created exploring the flag and its history over the last 50 years. It’s a family-friendly endeavour with an interactive station where you can design your own flag, a video booth where you can record your own thoughts and memories of the flag, and other activities.

Celebrate the Flag will run at Government House (4607 Dewdney Ave.)  until Sept. 20.

Brighter Futures For Children

On Thursday, March 12 this annual fundraiser will be happening at the Casino Regina Show Lounge. Tickets are $40, and proceeds go to two local organizations (SCEP Centre and Regina Early Learning Centre) that work with under-privileged families and children in the city to help overcome obstacles they may face and lay the groundwork for “brighter futures”.

The event gets going at 5:30 p.m., and will feature musical performances by Brian Sklar & the Tex Pistols, Jack Semple and Frogs Back. Tickets can be obtained at the casino box office. To close, here’s video from 2011 of Semple performing a solo version of the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah”:


Nash Memorial Lecture

sister_helen_prejean_poseyHere’s a heads up about this lecture which is happening on Thursday March 5 at the University of Regina.

The Nash is hosted by Campion College, and typically involves a religious or spiritual theme of some sort. The speaker this year is Sister Helen Prejean (pictured) who since 1984 has been involved in education efforts in the United States around the death penalty. She has also helped counsel prisoners who are on death row.

The title of Prejean’s talk is “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues”. You can find out more about Prejean, and the two books she’s written about her prison experiences, on the university website. The lecture is being held at the Education Auditorium on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Weekly Reckoning: Love Approaches Edition

weekly-reckoningWelcome, people in love or about to fall in love, people combing their hair in anticipation of love, people zipping up their love preparation jumpsuits, even people drawing up a cost-benefit love analysis, whatever. We’re a week out from Valentine’s Day and love is rumbling towards you over the horizon, its engines belching, its terrible treads grinding the earth beneath, and so on. Here are some timely love links to get you “in the mood” (a mood for donning jumpsuits, that is! Ha ha, just kidding, not really please put on your jumpsuit now and shut the blast doors, love is coming and it’s armed to the teeth).

1. THE ONLY COSMOPOLITAN ARTICLE YOU WILL EVER NEED Krista McHarden and her boyfriend set themselves a task that I can’t imagine trying without either the blessings of youth or some serious pharmaceuticals: try all of the sex from 50 Shades of Grey in one weekend. Read on and discover that the wild sex of 50 Shades is… sort of vanilla.

2. MODERN LOVE The weirdest detail from this article about a woman falling in love over Instagram is a cameo appearance from Bill Cosby. Roland Barthes would approve of the reality-enhancing effect of this detail.

3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ A recent study from discovered an intriguing correlation: people who used more emojis in text messages had more sex. Unfortunately, this does not mean that throwing an emoji into a text message will get you sex on your next date. Unless you’re texting an emoji fetishist?

4. QUEER TIMES AT THE STRIP CLUB M.J. Corey, a self-described “lesbian idiot,” decided to celebrate her 25th birthday at a strip club and wrote a tongue-in-cheek email to her invitees about general strip club decorum (I think “bring lots of small bills” about covers it). Then Jezebel got hold of the email and mocked her fairly mercilessly. So let’s read Corey’s side of the story.

5. BUT THE SEXTING IS JUST INSUFFERABLE Yes, there’s a term for the sexual attractiveness of smarts and the people who go ga-ga for grey matter. Behold the sapiosexual.



Exciting Goings On On 11th Ave.

Bus ShelterAbove is a photo of one of four heated bus shelters that the City of Regina is in the process of rolling out on 11th Ave. Not all are operational yet, but the plan is to have them up and running by February.

I didn’t make it out for the gala announcement this morning, but according to a City of Regina press release the shelters are electrically powered. As it grows dark each night, lights will come on to illuminate the shelter interiors. There’s also a radiant heater in the ceiling that can be activated with a push of a button. Once activated, it will stay on for around five minutes.

Two shelters — one on 11th Ave between Lorne and Cornwall St. (pictured) and the other between Cornwall and Scarth by the Bank of Montreal — will service east-bound transit users. West-bound transit users will be serviced by shelters located between Scarth and Lorne by the transit office and the SGI building.

The plan is to test them for a year and see how they work out. If they are deemed useful, heated shelters could be installed at other high-traffic transit stops.

Regina Transit also announced the launch of a new transit planning tool tied to Google maps. It’s meant to complement the Transit Live app which shows the location of buses on routes. The Google maps app will help transit users plan trips to different areas of the city. You can find out more about Transit Live and the trip planner here.

Distinguished Lecture

Neena2012Presented by the Centre for Aging & Health, this lecture by Dr. Neena Chappell (pictured), Canada Research Chair in Social Gerontology at the University of Victoria, has a pretty provocative title: “Integration of Older Adults Into Society: Is It Really Beneficial?”.

The title seems to imply that finding ways to keep older adults active and engaged with the rest of society may not always be good for them. I suppose that’s possibly true, at least in instances where you have septuagenarians and octogenarians with limited financial resources forced to work at places like McDonald’s and WalMart to make ends meet.

But overall, there’s presumably tons of benefit to creating opportunities for seniors to be involved in life in the community — both for them, and everyone else.

You can find out more information on Chappell’s talk here. It goes on Wednesday, Jan. 21 from 6-7 p.m. at AdHum527 at the University of Regina.

Exciting Goings On On Scarth Street Mall

BreezewayI’ve posted on the Scarth Street Mall breezeway before. Originally built in the mid-1990s, it had undergone a fair bit of deterioration in the succeeding two decades — to the point that long stretches of duct tape had to be used to repair rips in the flooring. The worn pebble on the floor also presented a hazard for pedestrians. When the floor was wet from tracked in snow and rain, the different grades along the breezeway created a lot of slick spots and slips and falls were not uncommon.

Local merchants and residents contacted the city about the issue in late 2012, and were informed that plans were in the works to upgrade the breezeway in the second quarter of 2013. That didn’t happen, but last night a crew was in the breezeway ripping up the old flooring, so it looks like renovations, which are the joint responsibility of the city and Harvard Developments, are underway.

Band Swap IV

Band SwapAs the Roman numeral indicates, this is the fourth year that a group of 35 local musicians have ditched their regular band mates and thrown their names in a hat to form seven bands. Those bands then have 24 hours to learn an assigned set of cover tunes.

Band Swap is co-organized by Jenn Bergen and Kathleen Dawn, and proceeds from the event will be donated to Carmichael Outreach. Last year, the event raised around $4400 and the goal is to raise even more this year.

Band Swap IV goes Saturday, Dec. 27 at the Exchange (2431 8th Ave.). Tickets are $15 advance and $20 door, and the show will start at 9 p.m.