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Sunday Matinee: Fight, Zatoichi, Fight

sunday-matineeWhen he first appeared in 1962 in what was meant to be just a single film, The Tale of Zatoichi, Zatoichi (Shintarô Katsu) the blind swordsman became a hit with audiences and Daiei Studios decided to make the most of his popularity. They ended up making 25 movies from 1962 to 1973.

In 1964 when Fight, Zatoichi, Fight hit screeens, it was already the eighth movie in the series. By now though the series had settled into a groove, usually Zatoichi would end up in a town, he would gamble and someone would try and cheat him, maybe a woman would fall in love with him and he would end up helping some people while being hunted by bad guys.

Someone bad was always hunting Zatoichi by this point. With the day saved Zatoichi would continue on his way. Despite the formula the movies would constantly try and change things up little without deviating too much and the cinematography was great with usually a couple of brilliantly photographed scenes in every movie.
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Campus Master Plan Public Forum

Every five years the University of Regina undertakes a planning process to chart the future of institution. A strategic plan for 2015-20 is already in place. It identified three priorities: Student Success, Research Impact and Commitment to our Communities.

As a companion process, the university has been doing some planning around the future development of the campus which includes the main and College Ave. campuses and lands east of the main campus that are also owned by the university.

You can find out more about this process on the University of Regina website, but Monday between 2:30-4:30 p.m. the university is hosting an open house at the multi-purpose room at Riddell Centre where the public will be able to review the plan and ask questions before it is sent on to the university’s board of governors.

Universities are a huge asset to communities, but judging by recent news reports the U of R campus, which includes both historic buildings dating back a century on College Ave, and newer buildings that were constructed in the mid-1960s, is definitely showing its age. So we’ll see what plans the university administration has for moving forward.

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Saskatchewan Fossil Campaign

Not a fan of the information panel that's stuck in Scotty's mouth I gotta admit. It should be mounted on the crate somewhere

Not a fan of the information panel that’s stuck in Scotty’s mouth I gotta admit. It should be mounted on the crate somewhere

Above is a shot from the exhibit that’s currently on at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum to select a fossil to become an official emblem of the province.

We did a cover story on it in our Nov. 26 issue. It’s a neat idea, and given the world-wide popularity of dinosaurs, has the potential to provide a nice little cool-cachet boost for Saskatchewan.

Of the seven candidates, Scotty the T. rex is the obvious choice. At the time of its discovery in 1991, it was only the 12th T. rex to be unearthed — and it’s a superb fossil specimen too, one of the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton’s ever found.

The T. rex is an iconic dinosaur species, so it’s a NO-BRAINER not to adopt it as our official fossil. Although as we argue in the cover story, the province should really pick two official fossils — one land-based, the other marine-based. Not that we should be fossil hogs, but Kansas has two official fossils, one marine and one airborne. So why shouldn’t we have two too? And if the province wants to adopt a fossil plant, that would be fine by me as well.

You can see the skull of another candidate in the race, a short-necked Plesiosaur named after the town of Herschel near where it was found after the jump. And make sure you get out to the RSM at some point before the contest closes April 25 to see the fossils and cast your vote. Or vote on-line starting April 11. Continue Reading →

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Roger Hodgson

At the risk of dating myself, I remember when the British prog rock band Supertramp released their breakout album Crime of the Century in 1974. I even recall buying the 8-track at the Esso station in the small town where I lived at the time.

Supertramp had released two albums prior to that, and the band went on to release another eight albums afterwards with the last album in 2002.

Roger Hodgson was a founding member and co-frontman of Supertramp (along with Rick Davies), but he left the band in 1983 to embark on a solo tour. After breaking up, Supertramp has since reunited under Davies, but Hodgson has continued with his solo career.

On Tuesday Dec. 1 Hodgson’s in town to play a show at Casino Regina. Tickets are$65/$72. Because of his involvement with Supertramp, he does have access to some of the band’s catalogue. Here’s video from 2013 where he performs the song “Give A Little Bit”

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Derek Edwards

Edwards is the second high profile Timmins-born Canadian entertainer to come through town in the last six weeks after you know who. He’s been plying his trade since the late 1980s, and on Friday Nov. 27 he’ll be in town to do a stand-up show at the University of Regina Theatre.

Edwards’ tour is subtitled Baloney & Wine, and according to advance publicity he’s focussing his comedic lance on the quirks and foibles of daily life.

The show goes at 7:30 p.m. at University Theatre, and ticket information can be found on the Conexus Arts Centre website. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s a short routine from a few years ago on a moose theme

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JSGS Public Lecture

During the recent federal election, and for a good number of years before that, there was a lot of talk about the importance of evidence-based policy development. I don’t want to rehash all the sins that the previous government was perceived to have committed in this area as it sought to advance its ideology, but Friday afternoon the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy is presenting a lecture on the topic by Munir Sheikh who is an executive fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

Sheikh is the former chief of Statistics Canada, and his talk will focus on the benefits of evidence-based policy development. You can read more on the JSGS website, but the talk will be held at Rm. 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina at 12:30 p.m. You’re encouraged to register in advance, and that can be done through the weblink or by calling 306-585-5512.

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Realizing The Virtual: A Timetraveller Experience

Skawennati dakotas_raise_weapons-8x14-300dpi









Above is an image from an exhibition by First Nations artist Skawennati called Realizing the Virtual: A Timetraveller Experience that opens at the Dunlop Gallery on Friday Nov. 27.

Conceived as a “website from the future” that the artist stumbled upon, the digital art project consists of nine linked episodes that function as a futuristic gaming system that features the exploits of a Mohawk bounty hunter called Ratorats “Hunter” Dearhouse.

As the word “Timetraveller” implies, Dearhouse has the ability to move through time, and through the nine episodes Skawennati revisits incidents from North America’s colonial history to offer an indigenous perspective to counter the dominant narrative of the colonizing forces.

You can find more information on the DAG website. On Friday there’s an artist talk by Skawennati at 6 p.m., and that’s followed by a reception at 7 p.m.

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This Week At City Hall: Café Patios On Hill Ave Cut 50%, Condo Policy Disaster Averted, Getting Ready To Welcome Refugees

thisweekatcityhallHere it is: 100% twitter-distilled city council meeting for your mid-morning clicking pleasure. It’s all here. The debate, the clever repartee, the feel-good speechifying, the Chad Novak. Everything except the boring bits.

And if you don’t like the slick slideshow viewer that’s below, click on over to my Storify site for the whole thing on a page.

You can follow all my Regina-related live tweeting at @PDCityHall.

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Romantic Piano

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a piano festival that was being held in Regina. On Saturday Nov. 28, the Regina Symphony Orchestra is hosting the concluding event in the festival.

Three compositions are on the Masterworks Concert program: Mendelssohn’s The Fair Melusina Overture, Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Guest artist is German pianist Annika Treutler, who was a recent finalist in the Montreal International Musical Competition.

Romantic Piano is on at Conexus Arts Centre on Saturday with curtain at 8 p.m. For more information, visit the RSO website. To give you a sense of Treutler’s talent, here’s video of her performing in Hanover in 2013

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Drilling Deep At Capital Pointe

20151123_151643Here’s a back-end view of the Capital Pointe construction site taken from the alley between 19-block Albert and McIntyre.

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Regina Folk Festival At Agribition

The RFF joined forces with Agribition last year to present a couple of Saskatchewan musical acts as part of the annual livestock extravaganza and rodeo. The feature acts in 2014 were Belle Plaine and the Dead South. Things must have gone well enough that the two organizations have renewed their partnership for 2015.

The Dead South, who have had a solid run of success with appearances at JazzFest Regina in June, the All Folk’d Up Festival in Montmarte in July, the Regina Folk Festival in August, and their recent win as Best Band in Best of Regina, are returning to Agribition. They’ll play the Ag Ex Pavilion on Thursday, Nov. 26. The show is free with admission to the rodeo.

On Friday, Nov. 27 Saskatchewan country artist Blake Berglund will be the showcase artist (and rumour has it that Belle Plaine may sit in on some of the songs in the set). You can find information on both gigs on the RFF website.

And to give you a sense of what Berglund’s been up to lately, here’s a video for his collaboration with Belle Plaine called “Town To Town”

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Sunday Matinee: Goldeneye

sunday-matineeI didn’t mind the The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill, the two Timothy Dalton James Bond movies.  They were a noble attempt to change things up that never clicked with audiences. Licence To Kill (originally “Licence Revoked” until concerns nobody knew what “revoked” meant forced the name change) was released in 1989 against other, more successful action films like Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Lethal Weapon 2. It didn’t have a chance.

Licence To Kill was the last of the Dalton Bonds and it was the lowest-grossing of the series. As a result, there wouldn’t be another Bond movie until late 1995 — the more than six-year gap being the long-running franchise’s longest.

But when Bond finally came back, he came back big.
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Sunday Reading: Harper’s Reverse Firewall, Killing Kennedy

On Friday the Ottawa Citizen published a great column by editor Andrew Potter on what it was, exactly, that Stephen Harper was trying to do. Potter’s conclusion in a nutshell: the former prime minister wanted to permanently cripple the federal government, preventing it from attempting any Big Socialist Plans. Potter argues that Harper developed this plan after his 2001 “Hey you guys! Let’s build a firewall around Alberta” letter:

Harper also probably realized, even as he was drafting the letter, how little the province could do using its own powers to protect itself from the sorts of things that Liberal Ottawa was inclined to do. Because here’s the thing: To someone with Harper’s ideological convictions, what is truly offensive about Liberal-run Ottawa is not that it controls the Mounties or the CPP or collects Alberta’s income tax. It is that it is inclined to use its capacities to engage in large-scale, centralized social planning (or social engineering, to use the invidious terminology).

And so Stephen Harper probably realized that to properly protect Alberta from an “aggressive and hostile” – that is, socialist – federal government, he would have to go to Ottawa. There, pulling directly upon the levers of federal power, he could build a firewall from the other side. And it could be a far stronger and more effective firewall than you could ever build from Alberta, while having the virtue of being pitched as a principled and patriotic vision of Confederation.

Makes sense to me. Brew a coffee or tea, pull a chair up to the Internet and have a good Sunday read.

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Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards

On Thursday, Nov. 26 the Saskatchewan Filmpool Co-operative is hosting a showcase of films by members. Less than 20 minutes in length, they all fall into the category of shorts, and must have been completed in the last two years.

In addition to the screening, juried awards will be doled out in the categories of Best Film, Best Student Film, Best Acting and Audience Choice. There will be music by Jon Neher, along with refreshments, and its all MC’d by Sylvia, Syndey and Mike of Boom News.

The Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards are at Artesian at 7 p.m. Admission is $10, and more information can be found on the Sask. Filmpool website.

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Little Miss Higgins & the Winnipeg Five

After making a splash on the alt-country/folk circuit a few years ago with albums such as Across the Plains (2010) and Bison Ranch Recording Sessions (2013), Little Miss Higgins has been a little quiet lately. When I visited her website to find out what she’d been up to, I found a picture of her with about a six month old baby in her arms so that perhaps explains that.

Regardless, she’s back on the road, and on Sunday Nov. 22 she’s in town with her playing partners the Winnipeg Five to perform at the Artesian. Tickets are $20 advance, and $25 door.

You can find out more on the Artesian website, and here’s video from 2013 of Higgins and the W5 performing “Keep a Song in Your Soul”

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Theatre Saskatchewan Fundraiser

Theatre Saskatchewan is an umbrella group geared to promoting and developing the community theatre scene in Saskatchewan. If you visit the Theatre Sask website you’ll see that there’s theatre groups active in such cities as Prince Albert, Yorkton, Melfort, Weyburn and the Battlefords, along with many smaller centres.

From Friday Nov. 20 through Sunday Nov. 22, a fundraiser is planned to help support Theatre Saskatchewan’s activities. Featured is a presentation of Paul Slade Smith’s Unnecessary Farce directed by Jennifer Lyn Squires.

There’s a buffet dinner option which goes Nov. 20-21 at the Regina Performing Arts Centre with doors at 6 p.m. and the play at 8 p.m. The cost is $40. There’s also a dessert option, and that’s on Nov. 22 with doors at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $20.

For ticket information check the above linked website or call the RPAC box office at 306-779-2277. 

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Surrender To The Captain

The Captain!We had a visitor! Meet The Captain (a.k.a. just Captain, no “the”), a big, awesome fur-baby belonging to Melissa and Luc who’s celebrating his second birthday today (well, the second anniversary of his adoption). According to Mel, this gigantic sweetheart is a Great Pyrenees cross with maybe some Maremma Sheepdog and/or St. Bernard. And possibly even border collie? Perhaps. The Captain is a beast of inscrutable genetics!

Besides being the city’s greatest birthday canine, Captain is famous as Regina’s second-best dog according to Prairie Dog readers voting in this year’s Best Of Regina readers’ poll (he lost to Ruby from Metro Pet Market).

Anyway, we gave The Captain cheese and took some pictures. Here are some of them. I’m in a couple, Luc is in the first.

In conclusion, yay Captain!

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Tom Lukiwski: “I Did Not Call The NDP Candidate A Whore.”

I’ll assume you’re up to date on Lukiwski Video Controversy 2.0? If not,  watch the clip above. There might (or might not!!!)  be a Bad Word at 1:41.

So: according to this  CJME story, the Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan MP describes the publication of this video as “obviously an attempt to smear my reputation [with] something that I did not say.” Is Lukiwski accusing the reporter — who quit her job over the Moose Jaw Times-Herald’s current reluctance to publish the story — of attempting to smear him? Maybe she’s the one who should pursue legal counsel.

Regardless, Lukiwski has said interesting things before and judging from comments I’ve read, many Twitter and Facebook users don’t accept his explanation. What about you? What do you think? “Whore” or “horde”?

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WintergreenThe above graphic provides you with most of the essentials about this annual art and craft sale hosted by the Saskatchewan Craft Council. Ages ago, I did an article for the SCC magazine Craft Factor on the occasion of Wintergreen’s 25th anniverary. It’s probably creeping up on 45 years now, and is still going plenty strong with all sorts of artists and artisans producing original works in clay, glass, wood, metal and more.

Wintergreen has always been a popular pre-Christmas shopping opportunity, so if you’re got so if you’ve got some gaps in your shopping checklist it’s definitely worth checking out.

Wintergreen runs at Conexus Arts Centre Friday Nov. 20 from 1-9 p.m., Saturday Nov. 21 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 22 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. If you don’t have an Affinity Credit Union card admission is Adults $5, Seniors & Youth $3, with Kids 12 and under free. You can find out more details on the Saskatchewan Craft Council website.

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Hubba Hubba!

20151118_202613Day two of the Regina Leader-Post re-brand featured this Victoria’s Secret… I’m not sure how to describe it, exactly. An infographic photo thing? Anyway, it was on the back page of the National Post insert. Plus there was no print copy of the paper’s weekly QC magazine.

What will tomorrow hold, I wonder?

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