Holiday Celebration

Each year in early December the MacKenzie Art Gallery hosts an art-themed holiday celebration complete with choirs, sleigh rides, refreshments and more. This year’s party goes Sunday, Dec. 7 at the gallery starting at 1 p.m.

The weather at this time of the year can be challenging, of course. But the nice thing about this party is if you do get chilled while participating in the outdoor activities you can always head into to the gallery to warm up. And while you’re inside you can check out all the great art that’s on display, and perhaps even do some art-making of your own in the Learning Centre.

Feature exhibitions at the gallery right now include In the Alley by Regina painter Wilf Perreault and Digital Handshake by Regina sculptor Troy Coulterman.

Again, the party gets going at 1 p.m. on Sunday, and you can find out more by visiting the MacKenzie website.

Big Yellow Taxi — Cathedral Village Arts Festival Kick-Off [UPDATED With Pics]

Photo by Visual Memories - Ken Jones

A crowd of around 200 gathered outside Connaught School this morning to kick off the 2014 Cathedral Village Arts Festival with a singing of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Gee… I wonder if they were trying to make a point about something?

Here’s some audio from the event…

I’ll try to get some pictures up later  [UPDATE: Ken Jones of Visual Memories sent me a few pics of the event, I’ve added them to this post. Thanks Ken!] but right now I’m off to the CVAF picnic in Les Sherman Park (that’s the park around the Neil Balkwill Centre). And I’m dressing warm because once again the festival seems to be starting out on a rainy, chilly day. But you know what they say, “If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn’t have hotdogs.”

And speaking of hotdogs, the picnic will feature hotdogs. And coffee and music and face painting and more. Check out the picnic events listing here.

If you’re wondering what other awesome the CVAF crew has planned for this week, there’s a complete guide to this year’s Cathedral Village Arts Festival available online and there’s a print guide in every copy of Prairie Dog!

Continue reading “Big Yellow Taxi — Cathedral Village Arts Festival Kick-Off [UPDATED With Pics]”

Ice & Fire Festival

This festival hasn’t been held for a few years now, I don’t believe, but it does have a bit of traction from before that as an effort on behalf of local arts organizations and other community groups to bring a degree of acceptance and celebration to the season that we spend a good chunk of our lives existing in in Regina.

Other communities have winter festivals (most famously, Quebec’s Winter Carnival) so Regina isn’t alone in trying to make the best of a challenging situation. This year’s Ice & Fire Festival runs Feb. 13-17. The festival is generally a family-friendly event, and the list of community partners includes : New Dance Horizons, le Conseil culturel fransaskois, Dunlop Art Gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina Downtown BID, Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective and the Skate Canada Saskatchewan Centre of Excellence.

One highlight promises to be several indoor and outdoor skating performances by the Montreal skating troupe Le Patin Libre. There’s a whole pile of other performances, exhibitions, concerts and community gatherings associated with the festival which culminates with a day-long celebration on Family Day. You can find a complete breakdown here.

Weekly Reckoning: Your Favourite Woody Allen Film Edition

weekly-reckoning1. MINE IS MANHATTAN, A FILM IN WHICH ALLEN IS TORN BETWEEN AN ADULT WOMAN AND A TEENAGE GIRL. HUH. After a whole lot of back-and-forth about whether Woody Allen molested his daughter at the age of seven, Dylan Farrow speaks up with an open letter that minces no words. In a piece that leads with the question “What’s your favourite Woody Allen film?” she states plainly and unequivocally that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was a child and got away with it. Trigger warning.

2. HERE’S A QUICK GUIDE TO LOSING YOUR ORDER OF CANADA 1) Be Conrad Moffat Black, aka Baron Black of Crossharbour. 2) That’s it, really. It helps to have fraud and obstruction of justice convictions pulling you along like two mighty horses of venality, but you know that Black and Canada would have come to this point by some route.

3. MISTER HOFFMAN, HE DEAD. Thoroughly excellent actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, usually the best thing in any movie he appeared in, was found dead of an apparent drug overdose. The guy who told me about it shook his head, snorted a bit and said “Hollywood.” So there you go. Hollywood.

4. LEX LUTHOR AS MARK ZUCKERBERG. Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Man of Steel 2: Batman Loves Superman, in which the two heroes leave their friends behind and open a bar in Chicago Superman movie. Hmm. I see what they’re doing there. Maybe Luthor will invent a ray that puts red underwear on Superman, which is intended to humiliate him, but actually increases his Kryptonian powers. Then Superman punches Luthor into the moon and flies around the Earth a few times in order to reverse time so he can punch him through the moon all over again.

5. YOU STUPID, STUPID, STUPID AND ALSO STUPID GROUNDHOG. Six more weeks of winter. Thanks, ritual animal harbinger. It’s not enough that you get to live the life of Groundhog Riley, with liveried men attending to your every groundhog need. Why are we getting our weather from some glorified marmot?

Weekly Reckoning: Gone But Not Forgotten Until Time Obliterates Everything But We’re Star Stuff So Look On The Bright Side Edition

weekly-reckoning1. IT’S ALL GONE MONDRAGON After 18 years, Winnipeg’s Mondragon is closing. Mondragon was famous in Winnipeg as an alternative bookstore and café that served something called southern fried tofu. As Fearless Editor Whitworth says, “Mondragon is like Heliotrope and Buzzword combined AND it’s a worker co-op. Super shitty.” Remember the pad thai at the Heliotrope, people? Remember Gord at Buzzword, who could zero in your taste in books with unnerving accuracy and make the perfect recommendation every time? He also introduced me to the music of Vic Chestnutt. RIP stuff we loved. Just remember that new good things are always welling up from the common soil of our consciousness, from a random idea in some kid’s head to a storefront or a dance company or what have you. Hot damn.

2. REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN WE THOUGHT HAPPINESS WAS A RATIO? Did you know that the secret to human “flourishing” resides in an approximately 3-to-1 of positive to negative emotions? I had no idea that this was the new hotness in psychology until I read this article, which tells us that, thanks to a 53-year-old student who a thing or two about the mathematics behind the theory, the new hotness is actually the old lameness. Or more accurately, the old bullshit. I have a lot of love for stories about outsiders who show up and break received wisdom in half. Alan Sokal makes an appearance as well. Ain’t no party like an Alan Sokal party because an Alan Sokal party subjects your cherished beliefs to elaborate mockery.

3. THE SPICE OIL MUST FLOW The Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline is back up and running after an oil spill near Regina. Wait, what? Apparently everything is just fine, though. Juuuust fine.

4. JESUS STATUE SO FAR NOT ANIMATED BY LIGHTNING Here you will see photos of the statue of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro being struck by multiple lightning bolts. Residents may or may not be worried about the possibility of the statue coming to life and terrorizing the residents of the city with random blessings.

5. POLAR VORTEX 2: ATMOSPHERIC FREEZAROO Weather reporting is good for two things: doomsday predictions and fantastic names. “Polar vortex” sounds like a malevolent living force from the frozen North intent on sucking the warmth from every creature on Earth like a terrible reverse Santa Claus (or regular Santa Claus on Opposite Day). Now it seems that the Polar Vortex, instead of dissipating, has returned to its northern lair, where it’s hanging out and plotting its return – with blizzards this time. Seriously. Screw you, Polar Vortex.

Darkness In The East, Light In The West

Weather-july 15_1728_StephenCaught this nice shot of sunlight hitting the buildings across the street from our office against the very cloudy eastern sky at 5:28. I didn’t edit this in any way–this is how it came out of the camera.

In other news, Regina’s severe thunderstorm watch was lifted about an hour ago, which explains why we’re all still dry and happy.

Storm Watch: Prairie Dog HQ

Here’s the view out our window as of 4:o5 p.m., complete with streaks of crap on the glass and reflections of our office lights. I don’t have to tell any Regina readers that it’s rumbling right now but there’s no rain here yet. We’ve heard a report that a tornado’s been spotted in Rollo Rouleau, however.

Scary Weather Warning

From the Weather Network:

“‘Oklahoma-style’ t-storms for Saskatchewan today,” The Weather Network’s chief meteorologist Chris Scott tweeted Monday morning. “Likely will be the most violent storms in N. America, possibly the world.” The combination of a very unstable moist airmass, daytime heating and a low pressure system moving in from Alberta are creating favourable conditions for severe thunderstorms. “The type of storms and storm structure we are expecting will resemble those found in tornado alley/Oklahoma during their active weather season,” explains Weather Network meteorologist Dayna Vettese. “There is a lot of CAPE – the energy needed for storms –  the right balance of sheer – which causes rotation – and a strong trigger for a storm. The set-up we’re seeing today is about as good (or as bad) as it gets for severe weather in July in the Canadian Prairies.”

More here. Everything will probably be fine but you can’t take chances when the weather nerds are tossing around phrases like “”Likely will be the most violent storms in N. America, possibly the world.” Stay safe, everyone.

More Posterity

MorePosterityAs you can see from the above photo, which was taken at 9:40 a.m. this morning, the snow pack in Victoria Park has shrunk somewhat since I last documented conditions there on April 25.

Temperatures in the 20 degree C range are forecast for the weekend. Assuming forecasters, for a change, are right, there won’t likely be much white stuff in the park come Monday. But we shall see.

Six In The Morning: Margaret Thatcher Is Dead, Dead, Dead

6-in-the-morning1 SEE ABOVE Here’s the BBC, some more BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Canadian Press and the Guardian, and more Guardian, and more Guardian and still MORE Guardian. Oh, and here are a couple of articles on Margaret Thatcher and feminism. And here’s the CBC story, which has this key factoid: “Once in office Thatcher slashed the tax rates for the wealthiest Britons, increased the value-added tax (VAT), reduced government subsidies and began to sell off state-owned enterprises and public housing. The number of unemployed quickly doubled.”


3 AND ANOTHER ROOF DOWN AND ANOTHER ROOF DOWN; ANOTHER ROOF BITES THE DUST Another Regina business’ roof collapses due to snow. The business is a pawn shop. Maybe landlords should maintain their buildings eh?



6 FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS BENEFIT GOVERNMENT SECRECY Gee, laying off close to 20,000 civil servants makes it harder for Canadians to learn about their government. Well that’s not a heap of self-interested Conservative malarkey, nooo.

BONUS: MORE PROBLEMS WITH OUR CRAPPY WEATHER It’s bad for teh kittehs!  Also, this is nuts. The normal high/low is 10°C/-4°C but today’s forecast is -7 °C/-18 °C.

A SONG ABOUT ENGLAND Pinched from this Guardian piece about songs about Margaret Thatcher. Enjoy.

Six In The Morning-ish: Maaake It Stooooooooooooop

6-in-the-morning1 SNOW MORE PATIENCE It’s -4 and snowing on and off, whyyyyy? It suuuuucks! And the highways are baaad! Also, the roof of the old Comic Readers–which was recently a daycare but thank god is now empty–collapsed under 20,000 pounds of snow.

2 MORE SASKATCHEWAN AND REGINA NEWS The long-time head of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses steps down; the Province has appointed a mediator in the contract dispute between Evraz place and workers. the union hasn’t had a contract since 2011 and are asking for a 30 per cent raise, which is pretty much a meaningless number without knowing what the salary range is; and someone maybe saw a grenade in Saskatoon; and Saskatchewan has dog racism.

3 QUEBEC DAYCARE SHOOTING One adult dead, 53 children unharmed. Besides psychologically. Story here.

4 IDIOT VIRGINIA AG (WHO’S RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR) WANTS TO MAKE ORAL SEX ILLEGAL however his campaign won’t discuss whether any of its staff have committed this “crime against nature”. Republicans sure are fucked. In the HEAD (haw haw haw!).

5 IDIOT U.S. CONSERVATIVES AREN’T GOING TO LIKE THIS A U.S. federal judge has struck down a “”arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” U.S. federal government agency rule forcing women under 18 to require a prescription for the morning after pill. Good. This rule was insane — the pill could prevent scads and and scads of abortions which conservatives claim to want. U.S. conservatives are such imbeciles, ha ha ha– wait, what? Democratic President Barack Obama supported this bullshit? Well, shit. I guess in America, everyone is fucked in the head.

6 A 1,600 YEAR-OLD SHEET OF GLACIAL ICE MELTED IN JUST 25 YEARS But don’t worry, it’s snowing in April so climate change is still just a socialist theory.

VIDEO! Oldie but a goodie. Parents, don’t let your kids read comic books. They’ll grow up to have psychotic breaks in diners.

Bonus Foliage: Victoria Park

Jeez what a beautiful day.

The sun was out, it’s warm, everything’s green… just too lovely. I was supposed to be editing crap  all day buuut, documentation of this gorgeous speciman of a Sunday was essential and I’ll take any excuse to get outside for a bit.

Many more photos after the jump. Click to enlarge ’em.

Continue reading “Bonus Foliage: Victoria Park”