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Who’s Afraid Of Purple, Orange & Green?

L_Meunier_circuit_3According the Dunlop Gallery’s press material for this exhibition the title recalls a series of four large-scale paintings that American artist Barnett Newman did between 1966-69 titled Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? Newman’s work, in turn, contained a sly reference to Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? which itself riffed on the song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” from Disney’s animated film Little Red Riding Hood. 

In doing a bit of research myself, I found the exact exhibition title mentioned in a 1997 review in Artforum International by critic Daniel Birnbaum of a show in Stockholm, Sweden called Painting — The Extended Field. Regardless, the focus is definitely on abstract art which has a pretty specific pedigree tied to masculinity and a preference for larger scale works with rigid lines, flat surfaces and hard edges.

That tradition is certainly acknowledged by Dunlop director/curator Jennifer Matotek in this exhibition, but the 11 artists that are featured, including Marie Lannoo, Daniel Borins, Sarah Nasby and Arabella Campbell, are interested in a more open dialogue around abstraction that offers a bit more humour, emotion and engagement with everyday life.

There’s an opening reception for Who’s Afraid of Purple, Orange & Green?  tonight at 7 p.m. at Central Library. It will be preceded by an artist talk by Jessica Eaton at 6 p.m. The exhibition runs until June 20. And the work pictured at the top of the post, by the way, is by an artist named Luce Meunier and is called Circuit #3. It’s made of acrylic on folded cotton canvas.

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Hi From Victoria Park

Victoria Park (Food)Is this becoming a thing in downtown Regina? (see photo at bottom of post)

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Daily Aggregation: Birthday Nightmares

daily-aggregation-21. ROBOCALLS FINAL REPORT: NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO LAY CHARGES Commissioner of elections Yves Cote says there’s not enough proof that robocalls were deliberately used to suppress voter turnout. Cote says some parties did not cooperate with investigators, and that Elections Canada needs the power to compel testimony. That power is not included in the Harper government’s controversial election reform legislation. More takes on this story here and here. There’s also a petition against the Fair Elections Act that’s gathered 50,000 signatures, which to me seems like a tenth of what it should get. The petition is here.

2. NURSES WALK AMONG US Saskatchewan has more nurses than ever. Where do they come from? What is their agenda? Should we be alarmed? Nurses: friend or foe? Menace? Or threat? And what can you do if you see nurses in your neighbourhood? Educate yourself here.

3. PUTIN UTTERS VAGUE THREATS Ukraine conflict continues. People have died. Bad.

4. ISRAEL QUITS PALESTINIAN PEACE TALKS IN A SNOTTY HUFF Well. Maybe Israel’s government should spend less time being outraged and more time worrying about the welfare of refugees in territories they control.

5. RESTAURANT THAT FIRED ITS ENTIRE STAFF DENIES FIRING WAITRESSES Look, it’s really, really important to get the business owner’s side of this explosive story and we should be cautious to automatically accept the worker’s statements at face value. That said, the restaurant laid off its entire staff and then offered to re-hire them to work fewer hours. It’s going to be hard to spin that as a reasonable thing to do.

6. EDMONTON HAS THE WORST GENDER WAGE GAP IN CANADA Story here. Regina is in the middle of the pack.

7. HEY, DECHENE: ESTEVAN VOTED TO CONTINUE TO FLUORIDATE WATER Good. As I understand it, that’s what the bulk of the evidence says should be done. Paul Dechene should be happy.

8. THE ENERGY WIZARDS OF OREGON STAND UP FOR FETUSES, OR SOMETHING Just a ridiculous story about lunatics whose obsessive anti-abortion views are inexplicably taken seriously by anyone living in the 21st century.

9. WOLFCOP GETS A SOUNDTRACK Shooting Guns will write and perform the upcoming movie’s score.

10. MEANWHILE IN AMERICA Evil corporations are trying to fuck up the Internet, a conservative rancher supported by Republicans is spectacularly racist and a family was awarded $3 million in a guaranteed-to-be-appealed-by-the-evil-oil-company fracking case.

REMINDER: ONE WEEK LEFT TO VOTE IN BEST OF FOOD! Polls close on Thursday, May 1 at noon, so get your votes in! Already voted and want to make changes? You can do that too.

KATY PERRY HAS A NEW VIDEO COMING OUT TODAY. THE VIDEO HAS A TEASER TRAILER. And it’s great. Perry says she was tired of making sexual videos, and now she’s apparently going for wackaloon. I strongly approve.

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School Board Looking For Connaught Architect

Connaught architect searchThe Regina Public Board of Education is on the hunt for an architect to design a new Connaught School. And you can see the request for qualifications on the MERX site here.

If you or someone you know is an architect who doesn’t suck, you can even apply for the job. Though to be honest with you I am at present of the opinion that the deck is stacked very much in favour of P3A architecture (which is an architecture firm and does not refer to a P3 — ie, public-private partnership — procurement). I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong on lots of shit in the past. But I was tricked into doubting my gut and thinking for a minute that someone other than PCL would get the stadium contract, and sure enough my gut was right and PCL got the job.

Now, in response to a previous post, a commenter said she saw an article in which P3A claimed they aren’t in the running for the Connaught job. But I still haven’t found any such article and I looked pretty hard. So I’m not counting my gut out just yet and am putting my money on P3A.

Doesn’t really matter who gets the job anyway. Did you see the winners of the 2014 Governor General’s Award for architecture? Five fucking rectangles in five different colours. Jesusfuck. What is it with architects that they’re so obsessed with putting people into glass goddamn boxes?

If that’s the state of top-flight contemporary architecture, I don’t hold out any hope for the new Connaught being anything more than a glorified fucking crate.

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Shannon Lyon

Based in Kitchener, ON Shannon Lyon has been active as a musician since the early ’90s. He’s got 10 studio albums to his credit, the most recent being Broken Things in 2012. He’s also toured extensively in Europe, Australia and the United States and performed with such artists as Lucinda Williams, Blue Rodeo and Bruce Cockburn.

Tonight, Lyon is in town to play a show at the SCES Club that’s being presented by Grassroots Regina. Doors are at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15. To give you a sense of what to expect here’s video of Lyon performing a song called “Think I Might Just Stay Home” at an outdoor house concert last summer:

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Daily Aggregation: Impossibly Cute Frog

daily-aggregation-21. MAYBE GAS PRICES NEED TO BE FEDERALLY REGULATED They went up across the country, and apparently the increase doesn’t make any sense. Oh well. If arbitrarily high/suspicious looking gas prices encourage people to drive less, that’s good.

2. SPEAKING OF GAS Saskatchewan’s GHG emmissions are through the goddamn roof. This isn’t just bad, it’s totally immoral. And yet, I’ll bet less than one per cent of Saskatchewan’s province gives a shit. There’s not going to be any rallies at the legislature, and support for the provincial government (which is robust) won’t go down. Would love to be proven wrong.

3. 160 PROFS AGREE The proposed changes to Canada’s election act are bad for democracy. More here.

4. SHE’S GONE BE RAINY The forecast is wet for a week. Hopefully this doesn’t turn to snow.

5. MORE BEDS FOR SASKATOON’S CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 24 of ‘em.

6. TODAY’S UKRAINE NEWS Russia scowls menacingly. In other Russia news, the country’s parliament has banned swearing in movies.

7. GETTING IT TOGETHER IN PALESTINE Hamas and Fatah have signed agreements to create a unity government in the West Bank and Gaza.

8. CHEATERS PROSPER The Roughriders exceeded the CFL’s salary cap last year by almost $18,000.

9. ARE THE REGINA PATS ABOUT TO BE SOLD? That would be interesting. You’d think a place like Regina should have a consistent winner along the lines of the Portland Winterhawks. There’s gotta be tons of money to be made by a great junior team here.

10. FALSE ALARMS Ninety-eight per cent of them are, apparently.

11. THIS WAS NO FALSE ALARM Big fire at a house on Halifax St. last night. The sirens woke be up. Glad no one was hurt.

12. ON THE ANTI-AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APOCALYPSE IN MICHIGAN What the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision means for the state’s universities.

13. ARE SMART ANIMALS PEOPLE TOO? Here’s a good, long read about efforts to give legal rights to intelligent animals. I cautiously don’t think this is an insane idea. There are some really intelligent creatures out there and standards for their treatment in captivity should be high.

14. SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME WITH DON CHERRY, MAYBE? Hockey Night In Canada’s Ron MacLean has apologized for, arguably, insinuating French Canadian referees are biased towards the Montreal Canadiens. CBC says he was misunderstood. I say that refs blow calls all the time, regardless of where they’re from, so everyone should settle down.

15. THE MULGA SNAKE KNOWS YOU’RE SLEEPING And it’s going to bite you. Well, if you live in Australia, anyway.

THE CUTEST FROG IN THE WORLD MIGHT BE THE CUTEST ANIMAL IN THE WORLD Just ridiculously adorable. Make sure you watch this with the sound on.

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New Music Stinks Anyhow, Right?

I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t actually believe that most music put out within the last year is awful claptrap. But if I did, I’d probably be OK, given how many vinyl reissues labels are constantly churning out.

The big ones in Canada over the past week have been the Acorn and the Constantines. The former is part of Kelp Records 20th anniversary. They’re doing a double-LP release of The Pink Ghosts and the Blankets EP. Those CDs weren’t even sold with jewel cases when I bought them.

The Cons had already announced their reunion for the tenth anniversary of their landmark record, Shine a Light. Now, there’s a vinyl reissue coming from You’ve Changed Records. It’s nothing crazy; they’re promising a remastered version, gatefold packaging, and a seven-inch of b-sides from the period. But if you don’t already own this one, it’ll be a nice piece of Canadian music to have around. Plus, you’ll have something to toss into the streets and burn should their reunion plans not take them through Regina.

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The Dead South

April 26 at Riddell Centre the Dead South are releasing their first full-length. I spoke recently with Danny Kenyon about Good Company, which is the Regina band’s second release following a five-track EP last April. Kenyon plays cello in the Dead South, and his band-mates are Nate Hilts (guitar/vocals), Scott Pringle (mandolin/guitar/backup vocals) and Colton Crawford (banjo).

Did you work with a producer on Good Company or was it self-produced?

The EP was our first professional recording experience. One of the biggest things we learned is that it would be a very good idea to work with a producer again for the album. So we went back to Orion Paradis in his Soul Sound Studio in Regina. We really enjoy working with him. Along with having a great idea of what we want to accomplish for each song, his input and experience proved to be invaluable in bringing Good Company to life.

Is there a theme that emerged while you were writing and recording?

Continue Reading →

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Ladyhawk

There’s a great show at O’Hanlon’s Pub in beautiful downtown Regina tonight. Headlining is the Vancouver indie rock band Ladyhawk. They formed in 2004, which means they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. The band, which includes Duffy Driediger (guitar, vocals), Darcy Hancock (guitar, vocals), Sean Hawryluk (bass) and Ryan Peters (drums), has four albums to its credit, the last being No Can Do in 2012.

For this leg of their cross-Canada tour Ladyhawk is being joined by Maritime-based singer-songwriter Shotgun Jimmie who has collaborated with Peters before. Again, the show’s tonight at O’Hanlon’s. To get you pumped here’s video from 2012 of Ladyhawk playing their song “I’m a Witch”:

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Daily Aggregation: Loose Balls

daily-aggregation-21. PSYCHIATRIC TESTS ORDERED FOR ACCUSED MASS MURDERER Seems like a good idea.

2. “FUCK WHALES!  YAY PIPELINES!” Problem: protecting humpback whale habitat gets in the way of pipeline approvals. Solution: say whales aren’t endangered. Easy!

3. SPEAKING OF PIPELINES… Brad Wall isn’t happy with the Keystone XL pipeline being in limbo*. I guess it’s better that he’s saying this than an NDP premier. That would be demoralizing.

4. 18-YEAR OLD REGINA WOMAN KILLED IN LATE NIGHT CRASH Jesus, how awful.

5. HERB GRAY HAS PASSED AWAY R.I.P.

6. TAXPAYER VANDALIZES PUBLIC ART Story here. Artist’s blog here. My opinion? Well, I can’t judge a piece from an Internet picture. Seems like something that I’d enjoy walking past every day. I like being reminded that people are thinking about things, and this is a thinky piece.

7. UKRAINE: TAKING PICTURES AND LOOKING FOR NAMES Are heavily armed paramilitary troops in Ukraine actually Russian special forces units? Meanwhile, the United States has pledged $50 million to Ukraine.

8. THE U.S. SUPREME COURT SAYS IT’S OKAY FOR VOTERS TO BAN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Ugh.

9. A TORONTO LADY FINDS AN ESCAPED PET SNAKE IN HER BATHROOM AND IT’S APPARENTLY NATIONAL* NEWS But I guess don’t mind because I like snakes, and, fair enough, a lot of people honestly find them scary. Still, everyone in this story is smiling, from the woman who discovered it to the cop gleefully carrying it around. The snakeypoo is clearly relaxed too. The species, by the way, is a ball python and it’s incapable of harming a person. It’s also, irrationally, illegal to own in Saskatchewan.

*Yes, I know the report’s by CTV Toronto but I found it on CTV’s national page.

LET’S ALL LEARN ABOUT BALL PYTHONS TOGETHER Well, about keeping them as pets, anyway.

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Emilie-Claire Barlow

Born to parents in Toronto in 1976 who were both professional musicians, Emilie-Claire Barlow got an early start in the music business and by age 21 had already recorded her first jazz album. She’s since released eight more albums, and has multiple Juno nominations to her credit, including a win for Best Vocal Jazz album for Seule ce soir in 2013.

Barlow was also named “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the 2008 National Jazz Awards, and has done some voice work for animated TV shows like Sailor Moon.

On Saturday she’s in town to perform at the Casino Regina Show Lounge at 8 p.m. The concert is being presented by the Regina Jazz Society and will be preceded by a silent auction starting at 6 p.m. Funds raised will be used to support Jazzfest Regina which will run in the city in mid-June.

Tickets are $25 advance and $30 door, and to give you a sense of what to expect here’s video from a few months ago of Barlow and her band performing “The Beat Goes On”:

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Joy Walker

Joy Walker (Art)I saw something when I was out for a walk tonight on 19 block Broad Street that I didn’t know what to make of (photo after the jump), and I also saw something where I did know what was up. That’s it pictured above. It’s an art work that’s been installed at Central Library by Toronto artist Joy Walker as part of the exhibition Who’s Afraid of Purple, Orange, and Green? that opens at the Dunlop Art Gallery on April 25. 

I’ll have more on that exhibition in an April 25 blog post. But the focus is abstract art that’s being done today that adheres to a lot of the aesthetic principles of formalism but doesn’t have the same hang-ups related to the mostly macho males who dominated when the style was en vogue.

Scale, line and colour are some of the modernist principles Walker is playing with. And I gotta say, I like what the Dunlop’s been doing lately with the installation of public art works on the east windows of Central Library. It’s much appreciated by a lot of people, I’m sure. Continue Reading →

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Walking The Beat

Victoria Park (arrest)It’s a great day out, so I decided to go for a stroll in Victoria Park after a late lunch before I headed back to the office. When I got to the park two police officers were cuffing a young guy on a bike. I gathered from people chatting nearby by that he’d punched some older guy in the head and at some point the police had been called.

It wasn’t as dramatic as the arrest three weeks or so ago where two officers with their guns drawn forced a guy on to the pavement on the Scarth Street Mall one afternoon and took an eight-inch blade off him. But I’m sure with the weather warming up there’ll be plenty more opportunities for me to get my real-life Cops fix in the months to come (as always, you can click the photo to enlarge).

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Daily Aggregation: Meerkats!

daily-aggregation-21. THEY’S TAKIN’ OUR JAAAAWBS! CBC reports that the Weyburn restaurant Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza fired its staff and brought in a bunch of temporary foreign workers. If the program’s effect is to suppress wages across the economy (and it sure looks like it is), maybe it’s time to shut it down. Plus it’s ridiculous to bring immigrants to Canada and not give them a path to citizenship.

2. “MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING FED UP WITH THE STATUS QUO.” Protesters across the country demonstrated against marijuana prohibition yesterday. Here’s a story on the local rally. Hey, did you read our epic 420 feature? Right here.

3. DON’T LIKE THE ANSWERS? STOP ASKING THE QUESTIONS! The Conservatives remain really bad at dealing with information they don’t like. The problem this time? Their Canada’s Economic Action Plan propaganda advertising.

4. NEWFOUNDLAND’S LIKELY NEXT PREMIER IS ANTI-CHOICE Yuh huh. Take a wild guess what political party Frank Coleman belongs to. Go on.

5. WHY CAN’T WE HAVE NICE THINGS IN REGINA? Because developers think bricks create socialism, is my theory. Anyway, a group of young architects who will soon have their spirits broken by the awfulness and lack of imagination of Regina’s powers-that-be have a great suggestion for the Traveller’s Building. Here’s the L-P story, and here’s their blog.

6. ETHNIC KILLINGS IN SOUTH SUDAN Horrible.

7. SYRIANS WILL HEAD TO THE POLLS ON JUNE 3 And I’m sure it will be a totally legitimate election. After all, the current Syrian regime has proven itself responsible, competent and committed to the well-being of Syrians.

8. UKRAINE: BREAKING TREATIES? Russia says it is. And we all know Russia is a credible nation.

9. TODAY’S NEWS ON THE KOREAN FERRY DISASTER Right here.

10. MEB KEFLEZIGHI WON THE BOSTON MARATHON AND ALONG THE WAY HE WON OUR HEARTS I’m not sure that last part is true. Then again, how could Meb Keflezighi not win our hearts? Anyway, story here.

I SAID MEERKATS! MEEEEEERKAAAAATS!!! I want to lie on the ground and be swarmed by them and die in perfect bliss, and after watching Will Burrad-Lucas’ video you will want that too.

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2014 Saskatchewan Book Awards

Cariou Photo 2013 Fix (1)You can find further details on who the nominees are in 13 categories for the 21st Saskatchewan Book Awards via this post which was done when the short-list was announced in mid-February. The awards will be handed out at Conexus Arts Centre on April 26. The guest-speaker that evening will be Saskatchewan-born First Nations author and filmmaker Warren Cariou (pictured). Currently employed as an Associate Professor of English at the University of Manitoba, Cariou is also Director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.

Tickets for the gala, which will start with a light supper at 5:30 p.m., are $75. Further information can be found be visiting bookawards.sk.ca or calling 306-569-1585.

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Weekly Reckoning: Three-day Recharge Edition

weekly-reckoningWelcome everyone! It’s a turkey kind of day in which we all celebrate the horrific death and miraculous return of Jesus. It’s the day when we hide candy and chocolates around the house in the hope that the Son of God will show up to collect them, whereupon we can trap him and drag the secret of resurrection from his weary body. As usual, though, children descended on the hidden treats and carried them off to their nests of blanket scraps and spring bracken. Stupid kids.

Of course, that’s only if you’re Christian. Secular types take the weekend to commemorate the death of Officer Alex J. Murphy and his rebirth as Robocop.

1. GOODBYE ALASTAIR MACLEOD  One of Canada’s greatest writers died this weekend at 77. MacLeod was born in North Battleford and grew up in Nova Scotia (aka. “watery Saskatchewan”). He published three collections of short stories and one novel. At my wedding, my father quoted from MacLeod’s work and the words were so simple, clear and beautiful that they were almost impossible to hear. If Jesus returns this Easter Sunday, I picture him passing MacLeod on the way and stopping for a while, just for the pleasure of his company.

2. ALSO, HAPPY 4/20 DAY  In a delightful twist sure to make certain people very happy, Easter Sunday falls on April 20 this year, or 4/20 Day, which is everyone’s day to celebrate the healing/relaxing/whatevering powers of cannabis. Pro-marijuana activists hit Parliament Hill today to promote pro-pot policy and generally do their thing, which is smoke marijuana (read prairie dog’s “The State of Pot 2014″ for some excellent coverage of the topic). One day, and I think it’ll be soon, people will shake their heads in amazement that people ever had to rally to promote marijuana usage. They’ll also shake their heads because the air will be so thick with pot smoke that no one will be able to see. That’s right, hippies: marijuana cigarettes will make you go blind.

3. BACK IN BLACK, ORPHAN-STYLE  Is this news? I’m not sure, but the second season of Orphan Black, starring Regina’s Tatiana Maslaney, Tatania Maslaney, Tatania Maslaney, Tatania Maslaney and Tatania Maslaney, premiered last night and it was probably the best episode yet. Everyone agrees with me because I’m right. I look forward to upcoming guest appearances from Tatiana Maslaney.

4. LITERALLY THE BEST NEWS I’VE HEARD TODAY  If you’re an unforgiving grammar jerk like me, you can’t handle the endless misuse of the word “literally” (on the other hand, you may be the forgiving kind, choosing to see it as an example of linguistic exuberance), there’s a Chrome browser extension that will turn every instance of “literally” into “figuratively.” I am literally imagining this right now.

5. A POSSIBLE CANDIDATE FOR IMMORTALITY Do you, like me, suspect that Queen Elizabeth may never die? That she simply sheds old bodies and climbs into new ones, and by that method has ruled over Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Normans for the last millennium? Anyway, her current shell turns 88 tomorrow.

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Pot Party In The Park

Victoria Park (4-20)Last year 4/20 in Regina coincided with the Saturday of Juno Award weekend. With scads of musicians and music fans in town from all over Canada that could have made for a pretty sweet rally.

Unfortunately, it also coincided with an incredibly late spring so there was about three feet of snow on the ground in Victoria Park and the temps were in the sub-zero range. Today, as you can see from the above photo, things were somewhat greener and warmer (and smokier).

If you haven’t read it already, we had a major feature on marijuana in our April 17 issue that explored issues related to both medical and recreational use. 4/20 is a pro-marijuana rally that’s been held on this date in cities around the world since 1995. The largest Canadian rally is typically in Vancouver. But there was a pretty decent turnout on Parliament Hill in Ottawa today too.

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Sunday Matinee: Get Carter

Get_Carter_posterWarner Brothers is releasing one of my favourite crime films on Blu-ray this week. Writer / director Mike Hodges 1971 crime thriller classic Get Carter.

Not to be confused with the super crappy remake that starred Sylvester Stallone, the original Get Carter starred Michael Caine as Carter, a hitman for the London mob. Carter is seeing his boss’ girlfriend Britt Ekland behind his boss’ back. News reaches Carter that his brother has died back in the Carter’s hometown of Newcastle so instead of running away to South America with Ekland, Carter goes home for the funeral (the trip is just postponed until he gets back).

Once back home and after attending the funeral Carter starts looking into things. He doesn’t believe the report that his brother died in a drunk-driving accident and stars poking his nose into the “accident”. Sure enough, things aren’t what they seem. I feel that I’ve said too much but after watching the trailer, it says way way too much. Even in the ’70′s Hollywood was giving everything away.
Continue Reading →

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Contest Time

Contest TimeWalking around downtown Regina the other day, I started wondering which building among those that are currently vacant had been empty the longest. Pictured above is my nominee. It’s on the south side of 24-block 11th Ave. The name plate at the top identifies it as the Yaeger Block and says it was built in 1926.

I remember a funky restaurant/club being located there for a short time in the early to mid 1990s (called Soul Food, maybe?). But since it closed I’m pretty sure the building’s been empty. So that would be around 20 years.

If you have another nominee you’d like to put forward, feel free to enter it in the comments section.

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Bad Blood

Joey tremblayJoey Tremblay (pictured) has strong roots in Saskatchewan. He was raised in Ste. Marthe, and has been involved in numerous productions at the Globe Theatre as a writer, director and performer.

His best-known play is Elephant Wakeand in recent years he’s done a fair bit of work as part of the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre company in Ottawa.

On Friday and Saturday, the local theatre company Curtain Razors is presenting a workshopped reading of his latest play Bad Blood. It’s set in a hospital room and was inspired by a health challenge Tremblay faced a couple of years ago that required him to undergo fairly extensive medical treatment.

Bad Blood shouldn’t be mistaken for a medical drama like House or Chicago Hope, though, as the room is outfitted with archaic medical equipment and the Greek goddess of the hunt Artemis also makes an appearance. So in typical Tremblay style, the play really serves as a broader metaphysical exploration of life.

Bad Blood is being held at the Artesian on 13th April 25-26 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, and more information can be found here.

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