Huron Carole

Titled after the oldest known Canadian Christmas carol, which was penned by Father Jean de Brebeuf in the 17th century, this holiday fundraiser hosted by Tom Jackson has roots dating back to 1987. There was an eight-year hiatus from 2004-11, and it’s been held for three straight Decembers now with proceeds going to local food banks.

Joining Jackson on this year’s tour are Beverley Mahood, One More Girl, Shannon Gaye and Don Amero. Huron Carole will be held Tuesday, Dec. 17 at Casino Regina at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $33. To give you a taste of what to expect, here’s the video for Beverley Mahood’s latest single “Sunday I’m An Angel”:

1914: A Turning Point in History And Culture

If you’re in the mood for some lecture action tonight the University of Regina is presenting another talk in its series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

Speaking tonight are Nicholas Carleton, who will discuss “Traumatic Changes in Human Psyche: A Brief History”; and Stuart Wilson, whose talk is titled “On the Economic Impact of the Great War on Canada”.

The lectures go at the JohnArcher Library at the university at 7 p.m., and more information can be obtained by calling 306-585-4213.

Chicken & Wine

Chicken & WineAfter a hiatus of a year or two this informal lecture series is back for another run. The venue is the Artful Dodger (1631 11th Ave.), and the first Chicken & Wine of the 2014-15 season goes Tuesday Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Here’s the three speakers, and the topics they’ll be discussing:

Jenelle Jacobsen I Have Made You a Mix Tape. A personal journey through the Canadian indie music renaissance.

Aidan Morgan A Cultural, Chemical and Personal History of the Ampersand.

Ken Wilson El Camino de Santiago.

If you’d like to speak on a topic of interest to you at a future gathering, you can contact the organizers via the Chicken & Wine Facebook page or e-mail chickenandwine@yahoo.ca.

Gala Art Auction

Perreault_Paintings_-North_East_LightsFor several years now the MacKenzie Art Gallery has hosted an annual fall fundraiser to help support various exhibition and education programming that goes on at the gallery during the rest of the year. Above, for instance, is an image from the Wilf Perreault exhibition In The Alley that is on at the gallery until Jan. 4.

Last year, the MacKenzie co-hosted the gala with the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. This year, the gallery is going it alone, but you can expect the same great food (gourmet canapes, to be specific), liquid refreshments and live entertainment. In addition, there are live and silent auctions featuring work by some of Saskatchewan’s finest artists.

The gala will be held at the MacKenzie on Oct. 24 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dress is formal, and tickets are $90 for gallery members and $100 for non-members. You can find out more information here.

Save Your Fork 2014: Return To Strasbourg

IMG_2970

When I cast my mind back over my childhood and teen years, driving through Ontario’s cottage country with my parents, I can recall signs advertising fall suppers in the little towns that dotted the route northeast of Toronto. But these were always on Sunday nights, and we had to get back to the city in time for everyone to get organized for their busy Monday mornings. Who were these people? And who has time for a fall supper? Well, lo these many years later, I do. In fact, I make time for them (and lament every squandered Sunday evening we drove silently past what was, undoubtedly, some very good eatin’).

The first fowl supper I ever enjoyed was about four years ago in the lovely town of Sedley (about forty minutes south of Regina). One taste was all it took to hook me for life. This may sound corny, but whenever I’m in some little town hall or hockey rink, surrounded by people who have come together to share a communal meal, support their community, and raise funds for some local something-or-other, my heart swells. It’s wonderful. I’m also a sucker for a good slice of pie, so that may contribute to the sense of bonhomie. Anyway, let’s get this year’s Fowl Supper season* started!

IMG_2968

I enjoyed my first fowl supper of the 2014 season tonight, in fabulous Strasbourg, SK. Strasbourg’s supper was, as always, a marvel – a seamlessly executed event that draws everyone from the local girl guides to the volunteer fire fighters together to pull off a dinner you’ll want to save the date for again next year. This year’s offering included creamy coleslaw, buns, pickles, turnip, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and turkey (of course). As is the custom in Strasbourg, the bird was delicious – a mélange of tender, succulent light and dark meat carved and served together for the best of both worlds. For desert, there was a dizzying selection of pies to choose from: cherry, apple, pumpkin, lemon merengue, and pecan. I chose the pecan, and my dining companion the cherry. Neither of us was disappointed. We capped the meal off with a top-shelf cup of coffee and drove home happy.

IMG_2969

This was the third year in a row I enjoyed Strasbourg’s supper, and it sure won’t be my last. Half the fun of taking in these suppers is the drive to the town itself. In Strasbourg’s case, this means driving through the beautiful Lumsden valley and along the edge of Last Mountain lake. Then there’s the friendly conversation that invariable crops up at long banquet tables. It’s a seating arrangement that encourages interaction and one that I’m sorry more restaurants don’t employ. Tonight, for example, I made the acquaintance of Clarence Biller. We struck up a conversation after he remarked on my photo-documentation of a plate of pie (“want a picture of mine too?”) Mr. Biller was the town’s pharmacist for 48 years and now farms just outside of Strasbourg. We talked about water-logged fields, hunting, the recent appearance of elk on his property, and urban sprawl. Who knows who I’ll meet at my next fowl supper!

IMG_2966

Verdict: Strasbourg’s fowl supper is a perennial favourite for a reason; scenic environs, an excellent meal, and stellar company. 5 out of 5 Prairie Dogs.

*Upcoming fowl suppers this month include ones in McLean (Oct 11), Sedley (Oct 19), as well as Lumsden, Milestone, Pense, and Wolsley (all on Oct 26).

 

Trans-Actions

Transactions Promo ShotTrans-Actions is being presented by the Regina theatre company Curtain Razors in partnership with the First Nations University of Canada and the Conservatory of Performing Arts. It features the participation of the Collective Performance Storytelling Ensemble which includes Jesse Archibald-Barber, Sophie Bouffard, Dominic Gregorio, Erroll Kinistino, Ayesha Mohsin, Mohammad Saadoun, Janine Windolph and Michele Sereda. They’ll be performing under the direction of Dr. Larbi Sadiki, who teaches International Studies at the University of Qatar.

The international angle is important because the multi-disciplinary performance will weave together stories from difficult locales — Saskatchewan, Damascus, Syria, and Pakistan, to name three — to offer a broad and poignant look at the struggles of oppressed people around the world and their yearning to be free.

Trans-Actions is being held at the First Nations University Glass Tipi. There’s performances tonight at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. The former is by donation, while for the latter tickets are $10. More info can be had by visiting the Curtain Razors website.

More Shrooms

More ShroomsI spotted this mass of of fungi (and moss) when I was in Victoria Park tonight. It’s the remnants of the dead tree that used to host Kim Morgan’s Antsee sculpture southeast of the Cenotaph until it was cut down after being deemed a safety hazard.

War On Cars Escalates

VictoriaPark(Crosswalk)It looks like the city is in the process of installing some sort of pedestrian signal/walk light at the Cornwall and Victoria Ave. intersection on the south side of Victoria Park. It’s much-needed to promote walking in the downtown, I think, as with its angled crosswalks that’s a tough intersection to navigate as a pedestrian in what’s usually pretty heavy traffic.

I see they’ve also installed a new stretch of sidewalk there.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins posterStealing a page from the wildly popular Cinema Under the Stars which is held in downtown Regina each summer, Government House is holding an outdoor movie screening of its own on Sunday Sept. 7.

The movie being shown is the 1964 Disney classic Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke. It’s set in Edwardian London in 1910, and in a neat twist of synchronous fate Sunday’s screening is being held in the Edwardian Garden on the Government House grounds.

There probably won’t be any dancing cartoon penguins in attendance, but some fun-filled family activities are planned, and popcorn and other snacks will be available for purchase. The evening will start at 6 p.m., and the screening will begin at dusk. For more information call 639-571-7123.

 

Exciting Goings On In Victoria Park

SidewalkShameIIAbove is a photo of the remains of a tree that I blogged about in May whose expanding root system seemed to be wreaking havoc on a stretch of sidewalk on the southeast corner of Victoria Park along Scarth St. In the linked photo, it’s the one with the band on it as seen from the south.

In addition to removing the tree the city has installed a metal brace to keep the paving stones on the park border in line. And overall, Victoria Park is pretty beat up after the tough winter, spring and summer we’ve had. After the jump there’s a photo of the southwest corner with sand spread out over the dead areas. Continue reading “Exciting Goings On In Victoria Park”

Regina Dragon Boat Festival

Later today the 23rd annual Regina Dragon Boat Festival gets underway in Wascana Centre. There’s some sprint action on the lake tonight starting at 6 p.m., then there’s races all day tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an awards ceremony to follow.

Last time I checked the Regina Dragon Boat Festival website, all the details about the entertainment and other activities beyond the racing had yet to be ironed out. But I’m sure by now all that’s been taken care of by the dedicated volunteers who make the festival happen each year. So props to them, and if you’d like to become involved yourself you can find out how by visiting the website.

Cinema Under The Stars

Tonight the final installment in the 2014 summer movie series Cinema Under the Stars goes in Victoria Park. From what I’ve seen of the previous six screenings that have been held, crowds have been pretty decent.

With each passing week, of course, the start time creeps up by 15 or so minutes as the ratio of daylight to darkness shifts from the summer to the winter side of the ledger. Pre-show entertainment typically begins at 8 p.m., but with sunset tonight scheduled for 8:07 p.m. the screening should start shortly after that.

Tonight’s flick is Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Here’s a sneak peak courtesy of the trailer:

 

Antiques & Collectibles Auction

When my family was visiting from out of town a couple of years ago we did a two-for-one tour with the kids on Dewdney Ave. west of the Lewvan.

Our first stop was Government House (pictured at left). Then we swung by the RCMP Heritage Centre to check it out and catch the Sunset Retreat Ceremony.

I’d been to the old RCMP museum, but that was my first visit to the Heritage Centre. It was also my first visit to Government House. Both are pretty decent tourist attractions and offer a lot of insight into the early days of Saskatchewan’s settlement history.

Each year around this time the Government House Historical Society (GHHS) hosts an antiques and collectibles auction to raise funds for programming and other necessities at Government House.

The 2014 event goes Aug. 15-16. On Friday there will be an opportunity to view the items for sale, which include furniture, vintage toys, jewellery, porcelain, china and more, from noon to 5 p.m. The auction itself will be on Saturday starting at 10 a.m., and proceeds will go to support the GHHS.

For more information visit the GHHS website . You can also find out about other events that are held at Government House such as Victorian Teas and guided tours.

Just For Cats

This is news to me, but if you go on the Internet apparently you’ll find a gazillion videos posted by proud cat servants showing their charges doing all sorts of cat stuff like looking cute and meowing and whatever else the creatures do to inspire such slavish devotion from their human underlings.

Anyway, on Aug. 9 there’s going to be a day-long celebration of the feline mystique. The day kicks off with a mini-festival in Holy Rosary Park (Garnet & 14th Ave. in the Cathedral neighbourhood) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. that includes entertainment, children’s activities, food and a $10 cat microchip clinic. Then at 2 p.m. there’s a screening of some of the best of the aforementioned cat videos at the RPL Theatre.

Tickets for that screening are adults $15 and children 14 and under $5. At 7 p.m., there will be a second VIP screening and reception at the RPL Theatre. Tickets for that are $30. Then on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. there will be a third screening of the cat video compilation where tickets are $15 a pop for adults and $5 for kids 14 and under.

Proceeds from the Internet Cat Video Film Festival will go to support homeless animals in Regina. Advance tickets can be obtained by calling the Regina Humane Society at 306-543-6363 ext. 224.

Queen City Ex

Last year, organizers experimented with a Tuesday evening parade to kick off the Queen City Ex. I guess things went well, so they’re doing it again. The parade will start July 29 at 7 p.m. at Dewdney Ave. and Cameron St., and proceed east on Dewdney to Broad St., where it will turn south and move along Broad to Broadway Ave., finishing at the Tartan Curling Club. Then once the parade’s over there will be a fireworks display in Wascana Park.

The QCX itself gets going on Wednesday July 30. Feature attractions this year include Alex the Lion (Madacasgar 3), Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Saskatchewan Express, Samantha Halas (contortionist), Splash ‘n’ Boots, Tim Holland (puppet tamer), Josh Casey (comedic juggler) and the midway.

As far as the Grandstand goes, Wednesday it’s the country band Lonestar with Blackjack Billy; Thursday it’s the Canuck pop/punk band Marianas Trench with Dear Rouge; Friday it’s ex-Poison front man Bret Michaels Band  with Bleeker Ridge; Saturday it’s Canuck rockers Monster Truck with Danko Jones; and Sunday it’s the Canuck rock/rap band Down With Webster with Amy Hef.

The shows should get going at 7 p.m., and are free with gate admission. Find out more about the QCX here. And to get everyone pumped here’s video from 2013 of Monster Truck performing two tunes (“Sweet Mountain River” and “Old Train”):

Observations Of An Outsider

My annual Regina trip is in full swing.  Here is what I have discovered thus far.

When the Riders have a bye week, people actually think of other things!  Normally, during my week-long July visit, I note Rider clothing adorning  19.2% of adults and 24.7% of youth/children/toddlers/babies.  This week  however, the numbers are drastically reduced to 11.8% and 9.3% respectively. 9.3!  That is outrageous! I assume the week off for the team partly explains the absence of Kelly Green (of course you knew that Kelly Green is the specific colour tone of the Roughriders) but as I pointed out to a new friend at O’Hanlon’s, the team also sucks.  Shame should not be ruled out as a contributing factor. The positive here is that folks have headspace for things other than football, so I hope to see a big crowd at the Red Sox game tonight.

My second observation; the traffic lights on Arcola Avenue heading South East are horribly synchronized.  Fix it.  Why am I stopping so much on what is practically a highway?  Do you have city councillors that are invested in brake repair shops?  Fix it.

Observation 3.  The Knotted Thistle  serves beer in great big test tube things they call “yards”.  It’s funny to look at and ridiculously inconvenient to drink from and of course completely compromises the taste of your beer.  Even so, part of me wants to try it.  The same part of me that wants to post a teaser on facebook about what an incredible day I am having just to see if I can suck anybody into caring.  Fortunately, 47 years has taught me to supress that urge.  I will have a pint of Rogue Farms Seven Hops please.  Jesus, that’s a lot of hops in one beer.

Finally, there are fewer “gingers” in Regina than Saskatoon.  Are they banished at adulthood?  Saskatoon is flush with these fascinating mutants and dare I say Regina, you are missing out on something special.  Speckly orangey reddishness goes brilliantly with Kelly Green! Observe…

Beautiful colours.
Beautiful colouring.

Look Up, Way Up

AgPlaceThis is the view from the back entrance of the building where I live. The crane that’s to build Harvard Development’s Agriculture Place has pretty much been erected. Hamilton St. was blocked off all this week while crane sections were brought in. Crews battled stiff winds today but things look to be pretty much done and soon the above-ground building will begin.

After the jump there’s a photo that’s pretty much the omega of the alpha one above (click to enlarge). Continue reading “Look Up, Way Up”

Metro Goes Kaput

Media_MetroThe Toronto Star reports that the commuter newspaper Metro, which arrived in the Saskatchewan market with much fanfare in April 2012, will cease “printing operations” as of Friday.

Three papers are being trimmed from the cross-Canada chain. In addition to the Regina and Saskatoon newspapers, the London (ON) paper is also being sliced as the paper shifts its attention, in the words of Star Media Group President John Cruickshank, to “larger markets”.