Welcome to Prairie Dog’s 2016 Best Of Regina handbook and instruction manual. Inside you’ll find the complete results of the latest edition of our annual reader poll determining Regina’s best people, places, shops, services and more. In September and October, Prairie Dog readers selected their preferred candidates from an online multiple-choice ballot featuring the top nominees from a write-in round. Winners were those individuals, businesses, organizations and areas receiving the most votes.
Saskatchewan’s capital city has a population of 205,000 people who co-exist with 350,000 hand-planted trees as well as 67,003 geese, 341,000 licence plates, 11, 998 politicians and 97 million undiagnosed neuroses. FUN FACT: Since 1986 Regina has been the only municipality in North America to celebrate an eight-day week. Regina’s official cutlery is the butter knife.
Cathedral Village Arts Festival
Runners-up Mosaic (2nd), Regina Folk Festival (3rd), Craven Country Jamboree (4th), Saskatchewan Mustard Festival (5th).
The Cathedral Village Arts Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. For a quarter of century, the little festival that could has been an annual celebration of culture and creativity in the heart of the city. Though they’ve grown a lot, they still manage to offer a week’s worth of concerts, performances and art for free. It’s an amazing feat. The CVAF has always been a great kick-off to the city’s festival season which encompasses the second through fifth place finishers above. Mosaic, Folk Fest and Craven are definitely titans of summertime partying. Meanwhile, I’ve been hearing some great things about the Mustard Festival. Maybe it won’t be too long before we see it top the Best Of list. /Paul Dechene
Best Place to Make Friends
Runners-up Farmers Market (2nd), Dog Park (3rd), Wheelhouse Cycle Club (4th).
Work is the best place for anything but work. You’re already committing half of your waking hours to a soul-smushing office job, or maybe one of those gigs where you twirl a sign on a street corner. Whatever it may be, you’re only doubling down on a bad deal by putting in effort on top of time. Relax! Get up from your desk and wander over to someone else’s cubicle. Did you marry, give birth to, or otherwise choose to be in their presence? No, but they’re there, and that will have to do. Tell them about that TV show you watched the night before, the one with the nerds. Maybe they watched that show too? They have? You’ve got a friend. /Aidan Morgan
Best Regina Pet Peeve
Runners-up Construction (2nd), Pot Holes (3rd).
I was preparing a rant about bad drivers (and it would’ve been an expletive-filled doozy). But a wave of honesty washed over my keyboard. So instead, I admit to you that I, McDuck, am one of the drivers you abhor. I fail to shoulder check before changing lanes. I don’t keep track of right-of-way, I just go when I feel I’ve waited long enough. I enthusiastically sweep across three lanes of traffic when something pertinent comes into sight — like a Starbucks, or cute dog. But hear this voters: you didn’t select this your #1 pet peeve because of one shit driver. It takes a lot of clowns and dancing poodles to make a circus. Also, Saskatchewan has shameful and disturbing rates of drinking and driving. So let’s cut that out. /McDuck
Best Wild Animal You Saw In Regina Last Year
Runners-up Moose (2nd), Fox (3rd), Coyote (4th).
Well, this is depressing Regina. We’re maple-syrup-sucking snowshoers who commune with the buffalo and caribou of our proud Prairie. We’ve had beavers invade Regina roadways, eagles swoop overhead and moose wade into Wascana Creek like the Lakeview neighbourhood is their natural habitat. So what’s with your selection of the common yard rabbit? Is it because they’re furry? Is this a fetish thing? Maybe you haven’t left your basements much this year, and bunnies are the only thing you’ve spotted through that half-window with the fabulous view of under your deck. Get it together, Prairie Canucks. /McDuck
Best Thing That Happened To Regina In The Last 12 Months
Runners-up New Stadium (2nd), Federal Election (3rd).
Last winter was pretty mild compared to the past few years, but for those of us with pesky Seasonal Affective Disorder, the return of summer is always the best part of our year. Yes, there are tons of fun activities to pursue in the colder months. But nothing compares to long walks around Wascana Centre on a warm evening with a special someone. City Square Plaza has shaped up to be a beautiful location for the farmers’ market and special events like the Folk Festival. And love it or loath it, Pokémon Go has got a lot more people outside and active this year. Hopefully, we’ve all soaked up enough sunshine to get us through another long winter. /Amy Couzens
Resident humans and certified animals make up the Queen City’s census population. Many, though not all, of these individuals wear mittens or gloves during authorized months. More information is provided below.
Best City Councillor
Runners-up Wade Murray (2nd), Jerry Flegel (3rd), Sharron Bryce (4th), John Findura (5th).
Quick: what has two hands, ran successfully for Regina city council, and rhymes with “prawn laser?” If you guessed “Shawn Fraser” you’d be right. During his all-too-brief time as councillor for Ward 3, Fraser championed progressive causes and addressed issues such as poverty and homelessness. His innovative motion to introduce the concept of a living wage to Regina inspired his successor Andrew Stevens, who will take up the Ward 3 mantle in the coming months. Also, if anyone would like to see Shawn Fraser change his name to Prawn Laser, please signal your support by tweeting “prawn” and/or “laser” to Prairie Dog’s official Twitter account. /Aidan Morgan
700E 4400 4th Ave. 306-565-2444 trentwotherspoon.com
Runners-up Carla Beck (2nd), Tina Beaudry-Mellor (3rd), Mark Docherty (4th), Warren McCall (5th).
A veteran MLA representing the inner-city riding of Regina Rosemont, Wotherspoon became interim NDP leader following Cam Broten’s resignation last April. With a caucus of 10, he and his fellow MLAs are tasked with critiquing a third-term Saskatchewan Party government that is no longer as Teflon-coated as it once was. The resource boom is a distant memory, and there’s some hardcore racial tension and economic hardship in the province. Throw in the GTH scandal, some heartless decisions that have caused real harm to vulnerable people, and an indefensible climate change policy, and there’s plenty of hay to be made for a motivated NDP opposition. Let’s hope it happens, because the health of our democracy depends on it. /Gregory Beatty
310 University Park Dr. 306-585-2202 ralphgoodale.ca
Runner-up Erin Weir (2nd).
If you’ve ever attended a fundraiser worth its salt in Regina, you’ve probably met Ralph Goodale. With a 40-year career in politics, Goodale has worn more hats than Mr. Dressup. Minister of agriculture, natural resources, public works, finance, and now Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Goodale also happens to be the only MP to serve with two Prime Minister Trudeaus. Through his ongoing dominance in Regina Wascana, Goodale serves as a great example of what it means to be a leader by continuously delivering that prairie spirit of hard work, hospitality, and humility to Canada’s capital. /Mike Shiplack
Best Small Business Owner
Wascana Flower Shoppe 333 Victoria Ave. E. 306-522-5243 wascanaflowers.ca
Runners-up Jessica Tetu, Just For You Day Spa (2nd), Tracy Read, Readiness Fitness (3rd), Clara Edvi, The Make-up Lounge & Style Bar (4th), Michelle Rorquist, Bloom Learning Centre (5th), Sarah Turnbull, Sarah Turnbull Interior Design (6th).
Reginans clearly appreciate Petra as she and her shop took three titles this year: Best Small Business Owner, Best Florist and Best Locally Owned Business (East End). It takes a special breed of cat to be a successful small business owner, and Petra clearly loves her work. On Wascana Flower Shoppe’s Facebook page, a local mom recalls wanting to give out cut flowers for a random act of kindness day. “When Petra, the owner, heard about what we were doing, she offered us individually-wrapped tulips and gave us a special discount.” Pay it forward, everyone! /Chris Scott
Best U of R Professor
Runners-up Susan Johnston (English) (2nd), Alec Couros (Education) (3rd).
High within Regina’s ivory tower, university administrators gather to debate the finer points of quality education and its impact on the future. Far below on the ground level, where the students are busy toiling away with the risk of failure and debt hanging over their heads, is Marc Spooner. No matter the subject (homelessness, politics, education), Spooner works with his boots on the ground and his mind towards the future. His dedication put him on the streets to educate people about homelessness in Canada, and alongside the late-great Jack Layton when Spooner ran federally for the NDP in 2011. However, he always ends up in the classroom, equipping students with the knowledge they need to make the world a better place. /Mike Shiplack
Best Pet Dog
Runners-up Captain (2nd), Zee (3rd).
It’s time I broke some truth eggs into your hype bowl: Ruby may a great pet dog, but I’m starting to wonder whether she deserves her constant Employee of the Month award at Metro Pet Market. I’ve been buying pet food at Metro for three years, but she has yet to ring through my purchases, stamp my card or offer me samples of freeze dried cat food. Most of the time she’s sacked out in the back room. Repeated attempts to reach out to the adorable pit bull for comment have resulted in measured stares, tentative tail wags and the occasional sniff. When asked about Ruby’s qualifications, co-worker Kurt Jensen reportedly shrugged his shoulders and said, “She’s the best.” /Aidan Morgan
Reginans care about their health, bringing their teeth, appendages and internal organs to medical authorities for regular inspection and cleaning. DID YOU KNOW? Scholars believe the term “health” is derived from the ancient Hyborian word for “television”. It’s unclear how they came to this conclusion but there ya go.
Best Alternative/Holistic Health Practitioner
Healthy Roots Massage Therapy And Wellness Centre 330 Gardiner Park Court 306-522-5668 healthyroots.ca
Runners-up Shalyn Christianson (Shalyn’s Massage) (2nd), Daniel Hoffman (Healthy Roots) (3rd).
Healthy Roots Massage Therapy And Wellness Centre is the home base of this year’s holistic health hero. Joanna Galasso is an Alberta-born therapist who’s laid down her own roots in this city. This bachelor of science and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College graduate considers her patients’ treatment from many angles, including soft-tissue manipulation, rehabilitation exercises and prescription orthotics. Now she’s the newest member of the Healthy Roots team with a Best Of Regina win. Our readers think she’s terrific! /Stephen Whitworth
Enhanced Dental Centre 1858 Victoria Ave E. 306-757-7645 enhancedental.ca
Runners-up Alison Mang (2nd), Deryl Dangstorp (3rd), Tara Kelly (4th), Kelly Rusteika (5th), Michèle Livingstone (6th).
Are you a tooth that needs medical attention? Maybe you’re suffering from general ugliness? Here’s a suggestion: from downtown Regina, drive east on Victoria past Ring Road, turn left on Glencairn, turn left again on the service road and get yourself to Enhanced Dental Clinic and into the chair of Tony Romaniuk, Regina’s Best Dentist for 2016 (also: 2015!). Tony will check you out, fix you up and give you a mighty cleaning. Do you have holes? Tony laughs at those. He will fill them, and you will be a happy tooth. I’m not sure what more I can say here. If you need more information, you can find it on Enhanced Dental Centre’s website. Be the best tooth you can be, little buddy. /Stephen Whitworth
Best Family Doctor
Gardens Medical Clinic 1704 Badham Blvd. 306-559-7000
Runners-up Kathy Kontsiotis (2nd), Tomi Mitchell (3rd), Aurelie Ndeke (4th).
If you check various online doctor-rating sites, you’ll be able to read for yourself the glowing comments from patients of Winston Lok. After many years at another location, he’s now practicing at the Gardens Medical Clinic but that didn’t deter his long-time patients from staying by their favourite physician. Lok has many life-long patients who are quick to attest to his compassion, skill, patience and extraordinary bedside manner. It’s sometimes tough to find a doctor you can trust with your small aches and pains as well as those significant medical issues that crop up now and again. Lok seems to be the right prescription when something ails you, or if you’re just looking for regular medical advice and services. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Massage Therapist
Just For You Day Spa 1819 Cornwall St. 306-757-7546 justforyoudayspa.com
Runners-up Shalyn Christianson, Shalyn’s Massage (2nd), Ashley Tidy, Healthy Roots (3rd), Casey Abello, Casey’s Massage Therapy (4th), Madison Duncan, Sen Massage Therapy (5th).
We sang the praises of Just For You Day Spa after our relaxation-obsessed voters named it Regina’s Best Day Spa last year. This year, JFY takes the Best Massage Therapist title as well. So: meet Corynn Mercier, registered massage therapist and Ghostbusters fan (according to her Facebook page) (which I creeped) (#journalism). Corynn is JFY’s director of massage therapy, which means she oversees and provides services including therapeutic massage, headache relief treatment, pre- and post-natal massage and more. Given Corynn’s win here, I assume a bunch of you have been to the spa but if you haven’t — it’s a gorgeous, relaxing place and you should really check it out sometime, even if only for a once-a-year treat. And congratulations, Corynn! /Stephen Whitworth
Lakewood Animal Hospital 1151 Lakewood Court N. 306-545-6487 lakewoodanimalhospital.ca
Runners-up Lesley Sawa, Animal Clinic of Regina (2nd), Lois Herperger, 24 Hr Animal Care Centre (3rd), Tara Hudye, Lakewood Animal Hospital (4th), Tracey Pedersen, Sherwood Animal Clinic (5th).
People of Regina! This makes the eighth year in a row you’ve voted Marilyn Sthamann as the city’s best vet! To quote Sthamann, “I have more than 25 years of practice in conventional and holistic veterinary medicine and my big passions are natural healing, supporting my patients and family. I understand how much your animal friend means to you. I promise I will do my best to keep him or her healthy and happy!” The puppies and kittens of Regina thank you, Marilyn Sthamann! /Chris Scott
Massive herds of journalists once roamed across urban North America. Unfortunately, polluted discourse, habitat loss and reckless sniping have greatly reduced their numbers. While researchers say it’s not too late to save these majestic animals (which play a critical role in Saskatchewan’s ecosystems), the current outlook is somewhat bleak.
Best Reporter (Print, Web Or Broadcast)
Runners-up Blake Lough, Global News (2nd), Natascia Lypny, Leader-Post (3rd), David Fraser, Leader-Post (4th).
I went to high school with Adam so I grew-up watching him turn whatever he touched into gold. He was the popular kid, a leader on both the basketball court and on student council, and he likely got good grades too. No matter what he did, Adam always did it incredibly well. The strength of any democracy is dependent on the strength of the journalists who hold our elected officials accountable. Adam is a great journalist because that’s the type of person he is. But Regina already knew that or else he wouldn’t have been voted Best Reporter. /Mike Shiplack
Best Political Reporter
Runners-up Stefani Langenegger, CBC (2nd), David Baxter, Global News (3rd), David Fraser, Leader-Post (4th).
As one of the few people left in Saskatchewan who used to work in the film industry, I feel a personal need to thank Murray Mandryk for keeping the Film Tax Credit issue front and centre in the pages of the Leader-Post. Not only has his reporting hit it out of the park since the debate began, Murray is regularly tapping the shoulder of the provincial government and clearing his throat on other issues too. We need a guy like this who can ask in a public forum, “Why does Premier Brad Wall’s government bother to have an environment minister at all?” Thank you, Mr. Mandryk, for your public service. /Chris Scott
Best Weather Person
Global News globalnews.ca/regina
Runners-up Kahla Buchanan, CTV (2nd), Christy Climenhaga, CBC (3rd).
As a higher-up at Prairie Dog I have access to “Best of” results for our sister mag Planet S in Saskatoon. And I find it passing strange how in the Bridge City the weather beat is dominated by men, while in the Queen City female weather forecasters dominate. Here, Global’s Tiffany Lizée took home the hardware as Best Weather Person, with CTV’s Kahla Buchanan and CBC’s Christy Climenhaga finishing second and third. Up north, though, it’s a regular sausage-fest — with CTV’s Jeff Rogstad getting the nod ahead of Peter Quinlan (Global) and Mike Ciona (CTV). In Pop culture terms, it’s like Regina is Bachlorette/Bridesmaids and Saskatoon is Bachelor/The Hangover. It just seems weird, is all. /Gregory Beatty
Best Radio Host(s)
Chad and Ballsy
The Wolf thewolfrocks.com
Runners-up Mark Johnston, Big Dog (2nd), Rustie Dean & Greg Morgan, My 92.1 (3rd), Sheila Coles, CBC (4th), Mike McGuire, Big Dog (5th), Stefani Langenegger, CBC (6th).
The people have spoken. Chris Chad and Michael Ball of 104.9 The Wolf is a bromance to be reckoned with. Best Radio Host is a coveted title and says a lot about the city. These are the guys that Regina likes to wake up to in the morning and have with them on the drive to work. And it makes sense. These are the guys who tell it like it is. They aren’t afraid to flirt with the offensive and jam their opinions into things for a laugh. Regina has always been the city that rhymes with fun, and every morning it continues to grow more Ballsy. /Mike Shiplack
Best Radio Station
Big Dog 92.7
Runners-up Z99 (2nd), CBC (3rd), The Wolf (4th).
We may not be “Big” like your pick for Best Radio Station. We may not even be actual dogs — okay, there’s no “may” about it. Taxonomically, Prairie dogs belong to the Rodentia order while dogs are Carnivora. Just because we’re rodents, though, doesn’t mean we’re not mighty in our own way. Perhaps you saw the National Geographic report awhile back that labeled Prairie dogs “serial murderers” for the toll they exact on ground squirrels? They don’t kill to eat like regular carnivores, either. No sir. Prairie dogs kill for the sheer pleasure of it! Okay, that’s not true either. They kill squirrels to reduce competition in their territory. And they’re pretty ruthless about it too. So while you’re welcome to this title “Big Dog 92.7”, don’t get any ideas about muscling in on our territory. /Gregory Beatty
Best TV Anchor
Runners-up Heather Anderson, CTV (2nd), Whitney Stinson, Global News (3rd).
Returning to the winner’s podium is Jill Morgan, your choice as Best TV Anchor. There’s got to be a lot of pressure when you’re expected to be knowledgeable, calm and composed while on TV every night, delivering local, national and international news to viewers who trust you to bring them the information they need to know. I’m not sure how a news anchor doesn’t burst into fits of laughter when describing the insane antics of the current American presidential election campaign, or shed tears of sorrow and grief when telling yet another story about a child’s untimely death. But Jill Morgan’s a professional so she does just that! She’s also a fixture at various city events and fundraisers, often acting as MC or being an active participant. She’s smart, hard-working, funny and down-to-earth. No wonder you like her — you really, really like her! /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best TV News Coverage
Runners-up Global Regina (2nd), CBC Regina (3rd).
I’ll have to check our archives to be certain, but I’m pretty sure CTV Regina has claimed this crown before. Excuse me for a minute, will you… [sound of me rummaging around in a huge pile of back issues we have stacked in a remote corner of our office]. Okay, I’m back. And it looks like I was right. Just last year, in fact, CTV won this award. And in 2014 too. And 2013. And 2012. And… okay, I’ve probably stretched this joke as far as I can. Yes, the other stations’ news programs have their fans — as they should. But when it comes to TV news in Regina, CTV is the longstanding favourite of our voters. So congrats to them for another big W. /Gregory Beatty
Best TV Sports Coverage
Runner-up Global Regina (2nd).
With the Riders in a funk these days, you might be forgiven for assuming sports reporting in Regina would be a slog. Fortunately, other teams have stepped up. A woeful 0W-8L in 2015, the University of Regina Rams unleashed a high octane offence on an unsuspecting Canada West conference this season, securing first place and a home playoff game. Then there’s the Regina Pats, who are ranked #1 in Canada at the moment, and seem destined to make a serious run at a WHL title. Throw in some Saskatchewan Rush coverage from Toontown, plus the usual mix of curling, Red Sox baseball, high school and university sports, golf, soccer and more, and the sports scene is indeed vibrant. And when Prairie Dog voters want to get up to speed, CTV is their go-to station. /Gregory Beatty
Best News Outlet Overall
Runners-up CBC (2nd), Global Regina (3rd).
If you compare the results here with Best TV News, you’ll find the same winner. But when it comes to second spot, CBC leapfrogs over Global Regina. Best News Outlet Overall is a much broader category, of course, as it also includes radio, web and even print I suppose — although neither the Leader-Post or yours truly made the nomination round. Even with the built-in advantage of its radio division and a top-notch website, CBC still wasn’t able to topple CTV Regina. From CTV Morning Live through the noon and 6 p.m. newscasts to the late night news at 11:30 p.m. CTV keeps Reginans up to speed on what’s happening locally, nationally and internationally — and our voters like what they see. /Gregory Beatty
Biggest Regina News Story in 2016
New Mosaic Stadium
Runners-up Provincial Election (2nd), Don McMorris (3rd).
The word from editorial is we’re supposed to be respectful of how people voted and not deride any of the winners. This is a democracy after all. Who am I to judge what is most important? But, COME ON! The stadium as the biggest news story of the year? AGAIN? Look, I get it. You like football. And maybe it is a little hard to focus on local news when the country south of the border is exposing us daily to an electoral hell tour through Clusterfuckland. So maybe we do literally have to fly fighter jets overhead to get you to notice something big is happening closer to home. But seriously, there are dozens of important stories happening right here in the Queen City of greater importance than the stadium being completed on time and (reportedly) on budget, such as… things like… jeez, that Trump guy is a disaster, eh? /Paul Dechene
Best Prairie Dog Writer
Runners-up Paul Dechene (2nd), Jorge Ignacio Castillo (3rd).
Aidan Morgan for best Prairie Dog writer? Give me a break. Everybody knows that “Aidan Morgan,” restaurant reviewer and columnist, is actually a group of genetically enhanced meerkats locked in a room with an old Tandy 1000 and a thesaurus from 1922. The person you’ve come to know as Aidan Morgan, that jaunty little man with the blazer and the camera, was born as Teddy “Buzz” Brezinski, an out-of-work actor who arrived in Regina in 1989 and answered an ad in the Penny Saver. He regrets taking the role but the contract isn’t set to expire until 2070, at which time he will be a) paid and b) 99 years old. Let’s wish Teddy luck! In the meantime, watch the pages of Prairie Dog for more columns about dating and dining as a meerkat in the big city. /Aidan Morgan
The City Of Regina’s Bylaw Authority has proposed legalizing and regulating visual arts, performance and other forms of creative expression. Written submissions and input from the public will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday Nov. 24.
Runners-up Jason Robins (2nd), Zachari Logan (3rd), Gerri Ann Siwek (4th).
I don’t mean this as a dis of voters, but if I had the power to anoint a winner in this category I’d pick third runner-up Zachari Logan who dazzled with his show “A Natural History of Unnatural Things” at the Art Gallery of Regina last fall. I don’t know Justine Schlosser personally, but judging from her website bio she does a bit of everything as an artist, including interior decorating and product/landscape design. Justine is a graduate of Ryerson University, and also studied at Lethbridge College and Manchester Metropolitan University. Through her studio she’s available to consult on different projects to grow Regina’s fine art and design community. /Gregory Beatty
Best Public Art Gallery
MacKenzie Art Gallery
3475 Albert St. 306-584-4250 mackenzieartgallery.ca
Runners-up Dunlop Art Gallery (2nd), Art Gallery of Regina (3rd).
While there’s always room for improvement, Regina does a reasonable job of supporting the arts. The MacKenzie Art Gallery is a perfect example. Outside of rare ticketed blockbusters, it’s always free. It doesn’t even come at the expense of having to dress-up in skinny jeans and hipster glasses, or knowing the difference between Monet and Manet. The gallery’s curators, educators and other staff do a fantastic job at making art as accessible as a walk around Wascana Park. So ask yourself, when was the last time you’ve been to the MacKenzie? Now do yourself a favour and go for a much needed walk, and take in some of Saskatchewan’s amazing art and culture. It won’t cost you a thing. /Mike Shiplack
Best Commercial Art Gallery
2266 Smith St. 306-522-0997 assiniboia.com
Runners-up Slate Fine Art Gallery (2nd), Mata Gallery (3rd).
Next year, Canada celebrates its sesquicentennial. The Assiniboia Gallery is nowhere near that old, but 2017 marks a special anniversary for it too. The big 4-0, to be exact — which is a pretty impressive accomplishment when you think about it. True, current owners Mary and Jeremy Weimer haven’t been there the entire time. Credit for starting the Assiniboia in 1977 goes to the Kurtz family. Mary and Jeremy took over in 1999. And along with the rest of their gallery team, they’ve worked hard to advance the careers of their artists and promote an appreciation for visual art in Regina. On display until Nov. 30 is a painting exhibition by Kimberley Kiel called For The Joy Of It. /Gregory Beatty
Best Art Show
Pop Up Downtown
Runners-up Theo Sims “The Candahar” at MacKenzie Art Gallery (2nd), Zachari Logan “A Natural History of Unnatural Things” Art Gallery of Regina (3rd), Justine Marie Studios at Fix. Coffee (4th), “Bead Speak” at Slate Art Gallery (5th), Brendan Schick “The Metafold” at the Art Gallery of Regina (6th).
“Eight artists enter, one artist leaves.” That would be the slogan of Pop Up Downtown if it were a modern-day arts-themed Thunderdome. But luckily for us, and the artists, no one died in the creation of Pop Up Downtown. Instead, RDBID artist-in-residence Amber Phelps-Bondaroff brought in eight artists to install artworks in storefronts throughout the downtown, from Workparty’s politically charged toy diorama on 20 block Victoria Ave. to Belinda Harrow’s dynamic rabbit sculptures on 18 block Hamilton. This year’s theme is “Walking: Bodies in Urban Space”. /Aidan Morgan
According to the Government of Saskatchewan, as of September 2016 the Queen City was home to over four million musicians. FUN FACT: traditional musician hats are asymmetrical felt disks called “lungtongues”, and it’s mandatory to wear these at guild meetings.
Best Solo Act
Runners-up Belle Plaine (2nd), Keiffer McLean (3rd), Scott Richmond (4th), Alex Mullock (5th), XANA (6th).
Amy Nelson needs no introduction — at least for anyone in Regina who’s a country music fan. A former high school music teacher, Nelson is taking flight on the Canadian country scene too. Gigs at the Calgary Stampede, Craven and Country Music Week are c.v. highlights, but she’s also performed in diverse locales such as the U.K., Mexico and Thailand. She’s also spent time writing and performing in the holy grail of country music: Nashville. After a recent stint there, in fact, and a trip to Australia to perform at Australia Music Week, Nelson will return home to record her third full-length album. So keep an eye (and ear) out for it down the road. /Gregory Beatty
The Dead South
Runners-up Rah Rah (2nd), Slow Motion Walter (3rd), Andino Suns (4th), The League of One (5th), Government Town (6th).
This bluegrass band with rock sensibilities has taken home the title of Regina’s Best Band for the third year in a row. They’ve got great tunes that make you want to get up and move, a style that makes them stick in your mind, and a non-stop touring schedule which earns them new fans every day. They recently had to cancel the European leg of their album release tour, though, due to health problems that were the result of their relentless touring. They’re set to support their new album Illusion & Doubt with a Canadian tour at the end of the month, culminating with two shows at The Exchange on Dec. 15-16. Please take care of yourselves and get some rest, guys, so we can see you back in this category next year. /Amy Couzens
The League of One Kill
Runners-up Snake River, Sun Will Rise (2nd), Government Town, III (3rd).
As music listings guru at Prairie Dog, I’ve had occasion to list The League of One on various hard rock/metal bills in recent years. I’ve never actually seen the power trio live, but as prep work for this blurb I did check out Kill on the band’s website. In the cover image for the album, the band seems to be channeling its inner Iron Maiden with an Eddie-like figure framed as a reflection in a mirror — although Queensryche is another influence I detected. The penultimate tune on Kill is a 9’26” opus titled “Robert the Plant”. Check it out if you get a chance. /Gregory Beatty
Runner-up DJ Tolley T (2nd).
This is DJ Fresh’s third straight win in this category. Sadly, it will also be his last. That’s because on Aug. 2 DJ Fresh (a.k.a. Lawrence Peart) passed away suddenly at age 47. Ironically, he’d just been into our office a few weeks earlier to pick up his framed certificate for Best of Regina 2015. Yeah, we’re not always as diligent as we could be in getting certificates out to our winners. But by dropping by like he did, it gave us a chance to meet him, and he made an instant impression as someone who truly enjoyed practicing his craft as a DJ. Left to mourn his passing are parents Monica Blair and Victor Peart; sister Dionne Peart; and children Kiana, Brooklynn, Kyrese, Kiera and Jaela, plus his extended family, friends and fans. And we’re proud to give DJ Fresh one more spin here. /Gregory Beatty
Queen City Ex dallassmithmusic.com
Runners-up “Weird Al” Yankovic, Conexus Arts Centre (2nd), Five Finger Death Punch, Brandt Centre (3rd), Chris Cornell, Conexus Art Centre (4th), The Arkells, Queen City Ex (5th), SNFU, The Exchange (6th).
Because of ongoing construction at New Mosaic Stadium, grandstand shows at the Queen City Ex were at Brandt Centre this year instead of Confederation Park. From my perspective (assuming the weather cooperates, that is), nothing beats an outdoor concert in the summer. But judging by the result in this category, the venue change didn’t diminish your enthusiasm for Dallas Smith’s performance. Smith first made a name for himself in the Canadian music biz as leader singer for the rock band Default, and he’s since made a seamless transition to new school country. And when he hit the stage at QCX he wowed enough voters to get the Best Concert nod. /Gregory Beatty
Best Live Music Venue
Casino Regina Show Lounge
1880 Saskatchewan Dr. 1-800-555-3189 casinoregina.com
Runners-up The Exchange (2nd), The Artful Dodger (3rd).
Here are my three reasons why Casino Regina is the number one live music venue in Regina.
First is the sound quality, which got even better in August via a high-end upgrade to the sound system. Second is the talent. No other venue gambles with such a wide array of premium performers and has it pay off. Just look at the October 2016 line-up: The Proclaimers, I Mother Earth, Ziggy Marley, Terri Clark, and the Jay and Silent Bob tour sold-out? WTF! Third is the seating. Amphitheatre style seating in the balcony, huge plush booths in the back, and table seating up front offers audiences three different ways to relax and enjoy the show. /Mike Shiplack
Supplies and commodities are available throughout Regina by bringing your completed requisition to the appropriate depot. IMPORTANT NOTE: quantities of tablecloths, decks of cards and socket sets are currently limited and subject to rationing.
Best Adult Store
1933 8th Ave. 866-522-4542 industrialuv.com
Runners-up Love Plus (2nd), Adult Source (3rd).
As a small business owner who lives and works in the Warehouse District, I’m pleased to see so many of my neighbours in the winner’s circle this year. Not just an adult toy store, Industrial Luv’s twitter feed is full of important sexual health news as well. Check them out and enjoy their healthy and helpful attitude. If you don’t feel like shopping in person, they also have a well designed website with delivery service available. Oh, and (in Homer Simpson whisper) THEY DO GIFT CERTIFICATES. /Chris Scott
Best Car Dealership
Capital Ford Lincoln
1201 Pasqua St. N. 1-877-829-0698 capitalfordlincoln.com
Runners-up Bennett Dunlop Ford (2nd), Taylor Toyota (3rd), Regina Motor Products (4th), Wheaton Chevrolet (5th).
I like to tell people I’ve let my car rust and decay to the point of being a junk heap in preparation for the impending apocalypse that will happen after the U.S. election. Then I’ll soup it up and spend the rest of my days driving up and down the highways searching for the precious juice. The rest of my family, though, has always just bought their new vehicles at Capital Ford Lincoln. The SUV that my mom bought, for example, has all the toys. Heated leather seats, fancy computer screen for maps and it’s awesome on gas. Sure, it doesn’t look as bad-ass as my sad car but it runs fantastic for her. And she loves the service she gets at Capital Ford Lincoln and so do Prairie Dog voters. /Shane Hnetka
Best Used Car Dealership
Capital Ford Lincoln
1201 Pasqua St. N. 1-877-829-0698 capitalfordlincoln.com
Runners-up Titan Automotive (2nd), Siman Auto Sales (3rd).
And what do you know, our voters also think that Capital Ford Lincoln is the Best Used Car Dealership. Same great service but with awesome used cars! Someday, I might have to break down and actually get a functioning vehicle. I’m sure the good folks at Capital Ford Lincoln will help find just the right car I can use post-apocalypse to search the highways for the precious juice while fighting off vicious gangs bent on stealing what little gasoline I have left. Or maybe just a good running car to get me to my job on a daily basis, whichever comes first. /Shane Hnetka
926 Victoria Ave. 306-522-6411 518 University Park Dr. 306-790-7682 5556 Rochdale Blvd. 306-585-1035 factoryoptical.ca
Runners-up Spex by Ryan (2nd), FYI Doctors, Grasslands (3rd), FYI Doctors, Victoria Square (4th), JJ Optical (5th).
Factory Optical has a two-for-one standard in their shops. As a result, I have more than twice as many pairs of specs as I have faces. The designer brands Factory Optical carry don’t differ markedly from other optical shops in Regina, so four-eyed Prairie Dog voters appear to have concluded that two is better than one. /McDuck
Wascana Flower Shoppe
333 Victoria Ave. E. 306-522-5243 wascanaflowers.ca
Runners-up Gale’s Florist (2nd), The Flower Hut (3rd).
Family owned and operated, Wascana Florists have been serving the community since 1981. Voted Best Regina Florist nine years running, they have over 5000 sq. ft. of floral arrangements, and (get this) one of Canada’s first full service drive through windows! As Wascana Flower Shoppe says on its Facebook page, “[our] multi-award winning design team is anxious to create a floral design just for you!” So don’t wait for Mother’s Day, anniversary or a birthday, surprise a loved one today with some of their great work! /Chris Scott
Best Head Shop
2335 11th Ave. 306-347-3111
Runner-up Treehouse Lifestyle Supplies (2nd).
Vintage Vinyl was one of the first businesses to bring counter-culture to the Queen City. For 25 years now, their one-stop-shop for vinyl records, band merchandise, and conduits to aid in the smoking of various substances has helped make life in this rural city way more groovy. The folks at Vintage Vinyl are smart about how they do business. Before vaping was a thing, they already carried vaporizers with dozens of flavours of e-juice. And if you have questions about how something works don’t be afraid to ask the staff. They are there to help you get your head on straight. /Mike Shiplack
Best Local Furniture Store
1325 Broad St. 306-779-0119 urbane.ca
Runners-up Father’s Furniture Gallery (2nd), Mortise & Tenon (3rd), Fanny’s Furniture (4th).
It all started in 1984 with Works of Art Furniture, then came Urbane and Urban 1, before finally becoming the store our voters know and love today: Urbane EQ3, winner once again as Best Local Furniture Store. If you’re looking for unique contemporary furniture, home décor or gift items and you consider yourself style-conscious and cool, then this is the store for you! If you’re really not sure what you’re looking for or how to furnish and decorate your space, then you’ll be happy to know Urbane EQ3 provides in-store or in-home consultations to ensure you make the best decisions. A wide range of products lines that are on-trend, a vast array of gorgeous items on display in the store and friendly, helpful staff will have you coming back again and again. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Local Home Decor & Furnishings
WP Home & Garden
254 University Park Dr. 306-586-2929 #5 4621 Rae St. 306-584-1565
Runners-up Pearl Hardware (2nd), Anex Interiors (3rd), Real Deals on Home Decor (4th), Mortise & Tenon (5th).
WP Home & Garden’s exquisite taste and innovative décor designs have never been limited to a magazine or online. Everything at WP is always out in the open to give their customers a real sense of how that lamp will go with that piece of wall art, and if it will clash with that area rug. But the décor is only one reason for their success. WP has always brought in knowledgeable design staff who understand which trends are in and which ones are on the way out. They know how to accent a living room and ensure you get all the compliments on that fabulous new home décor. /Mike Shiplack
Best Local Home Electronics
1329 Lorne St. 306-525-8128 audiowarehouse.com
Runners-up Krazy Kiley’s (2nd), On AV (3rd).
In this day and age when even big box stores are struggling to stay in business Audio Warehouse has managed to be around for over 50 years. With all the competition on the internets and such, they obviously know their home electronics. Plus they have top-notch customer service to go along with their awesome knowledge. It’s always reassuring to be able to see exactly what sort of massive/awesome movie-watching home theatre system you are buying and what better place than Audio Warehouse? /Shane Hnetka
Best Local Hobby Shop
4603 Albert St. 306-586-1414 2125 11th Ave. 306-779-0900 comicreaders.com
Runners-up Mabel and Martha’s (2nd), Redline Hobby (3rd).
Gone are the days where there was a social stigma about going into a comic book shop. Superheros are mainstream and society has finally realized that having hobbies actually makes you a more interesting person! Comic Readers is the best place in Regina to find a new hobby to suit your budget and personality. Like improvising and hanging out with friends? Try Dungeons & Dragons or another role playing game! Are you creative and like working with your hands? They’ll set you up with some models or miniatures. Do you hate yourself and your wallet? Get addicted to blind box figures, like me. They also have massive amounts of little books filled with text and images that are fun to read and discuss with friends. They have two locations in the city which makes it easier to get your weekly fix! And if that isn’t enough, every fall Comic Readers hosts a Play For Your Food fundraiser that so far has raised over $120,000 for Soul’s Harbour Rescue Mission. /Amy Couzens
Best Pet Supply Store
Metro Pet Market
1637 Victoria Ave. 306-352-9663 3951 Rochdale Blvd. 306-352-9663 metropetmarket.ca.
Runners-up Cowtown (2nd), Pawsitively Purrfect (3rd), Pat’s Pets (4th), Prairie Aquatics and Exotics (5th).
Humans aren’t the only species that are living longer. Dogs and cats are also seeing a new lease on life due to the quality of food that’s now available for them. Just ask Metro Pet Market. For them it’s all about quality of life with no fillers. As Metro notes on its website, its mission is to provide the freshest and most nutritious wholesome foods available. This makes eight years in a row of being voted the Best Pet Supply Store in Regina by Prairie Dog voters. From the chew toys, cat toys, dog bones, catnips, and collars, everything in the store seems to deliver the best experience for the animal first, and the owner second. But your pet already knew that. /Mike Shiplack
Best Pet Store
2810 E Quance St. 306-347-5400 4835 Gordon Rd. 306-779-0170 petsmart.ca
Runners-up Petland (2nd), Prairie Aquatics and Exotics (3rd), Pat’s Pets (4th).
Once again Regina has named PetSmart its favourite source for all things cute and cuddly. While you can purchase small critters there, they have eschewed the sale of puppies and kittens from breeders in favour of being a satellite adoption site for the Regina Humane Society. Their helpful staff can help you find the products you need, especially when you’re overwhelmed by the selection. Studies say that being a pet owner makes you a healthier and happier person, so you should return the favour by heading to PetSmart and getting your fur (or feather/scale) babies all the things they need to keep them happy and healthy as well. /Amy Couzens
Best Specialty Shop
3036 13th Ave. 306-522-2663 dessartsweets.com
Runners-up Paper Umbrella (2nd), Mortise & Tenon (3rd).
I don’t know about this. Dessart Sweets as a “specialty” shop? As far as I’m concerned, between June 1 and August 31, Dessart’s ice cream treats are a staple food. You may as well call it a grocery store. Which isn’t to say it’s mundane or dull but rather that, once the sun comes out, Dessart Sweets isn’t so much a “specialty shop” as a crucial part of my routine. But it is definitely the best part of that routine. And therefore, it deserves an award. Actually, all the awards. /Paul Dechene
Best Store For Secondhand Finds (Not Clothes)
The Antique Mall
1175 Rose St. 306-525-9688 reginaantiques.com
Runner-up Salvation Army Thrift Store (2nd).
The Antique Mall is a neighbour to our bookstore in the Value Village Mall, and when my friends and neighbours drop in to visit they often show me their purchases. I’ve heard many happy exclamations of “Look what I found!” Not too many secondhand stores inspire such happy drag ’n’ brags. That’s the difference between places like The Antique Mall and donation outlets: the merchandise is purchased and curated for maximum effect. It shows in the quality and the ever-changing stock. There’s 21,000 sq. ft of space, with three floors of displays housing 28 distinct shops. They’re not kidding when they say “one of the largest selections in Western Canada”! /Chris Scott
Best Toy Store
Zippity Zoom Toys
4601 Albert St. 306-522-8697 zippityzoomtoys.ca
Runner-up Toys R Us (2nd).
If you are looking for Lego, Playmobil, Silly Putty, Pogo Sticks and more fun stuff than I can even begin to list the best place in town for the second year in a row is Zippity Zoom Toys. This is that awesome toy store that you remember from when you were a kid. Every time I step into the place I’m blown away by the insane amount of toys they have. Their popular yearly Easter Egg Hunt is always a success, and their customer service is excellent. It almost makes you wish you were a kid again — almost. /Shane Hnetka
Best Vape Shop
Vaping the Way
1414 Lorne St. 306-206-1827 vapingtheway.ca
Runners-up 306 Vape Co. (2nd), Vape Vines (3rd), Electric Fog (4th).
With this category, Prairie Dog makes it official: vaping is a “thing” now. Somebody tell my MacBook’s spell checker. Like wearing yoga pants in public, neck tatts and those combo handshake-half hug man greetings, vaping can be added to that rapidly expanding list of things all the kids are doing that I’m not entirely comfortable with. Thanks for making me feel old, Best Vape Shop category. But I always swore I wouldn’t turn into one of those cranky old men waving his cane and hollering at the youngsters to get off his lawn, so I may as well embrace this hot new trend in nurturing one’s nicotine addiction. Located near the Exchange, Vaping The Way is a classy, welcoming establishment that promises to introduce me to an innovative way to transform my lifestyle. Good vaping, Regina! /Paul Dechene
Best New Locally Owned Business
Off the Leash Pet Grooming
1362 Scarth St. 306-546-4657 offleashgrooming.com
Runners-up The Make-Up Style & Lounge Bar (2nd), Mortise & Tenon (3rd), Amara Salon & Spa (4th).
I couldn’t test out this business myself because my pets aren’t so good on a leash and they rarely need grooming assistance. Yes, my Lola, Tigger and Issy generally manage to hiss and slither their way through a snake grooming routine on their own. Fortunately, I fully trust Prairie Dog voters when they say Off the Leash Pet Grooming is an awesome business worthy of winning this award. It’s an enviable honour, given all the competition with new ventures popping up across the city every week. Owner/groomer Kayla has loved animals since childhood and is certified in canine and feline grooming as well as pet first aid. She grooms all breeds but specializes in timid or aggressive animals. Whether Fido or Fifi need their nails clipped, a regular wash and trim or something more intense, our readers agree that Off the Leash Pet Grooming is a top notch place to go. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Kept Secret
4515 Rochdale Blvd. 306-545-3773 trinity-apparel.com
Runners-up X-Ray Records (2nd), The Make-Up Lounge and Style Bar (3rd), The Junction (4th), Spafford Books (5th), Saffyre Salon & Spa (6th).
Part of the fun of working on Best of Regina is finding out about new businesses! Regina has spoken, and Trinity Clothing, you are no longer a secret. They carry men’s and ladies brand name clothes and accessories. If you check their Facebook page you’ll see some great pictures of their merch, which includes Gentle Fawn (women’s dresses, sweaters and tops), Eliasz and Ella (hand-made jewellery and accessories), and other looks you won’t find anywhere else. Don’t just believe us, the page is spilling over with comments on the quality of the clothing and service. /Chris Scott
Regina homes are usually planted in the fall and typically require 16 months to reach full growth. Once mature, they can accommodate individuals, couples, families and any other approved occupant(s), excluding capybaras (see below).
Rick’s Custom Cabinets
3121 Saskatchewan Dr. 306.352.6044 rickscustomcabinets.com
Runner-up Cougar Cabinets (2nd).
Last winter my oven finally died an overdue death. Unfortunately, replacing it brought on a new problem. See, the oven was built into the kitchen cabinets 50 years ago and the models on the market today would never fit into the space my old one did. So that means all new kitchen cabinets. Right now, I don’t have the funds or time to start this project. But it looks like the best place to go will be Rick’s Custom Cabinets. And they don’t just do cabinets for the kitchen, they do them for other rooms too — bedrooms, bathrooms, bar and entertainment rooms! Now if I only had the funds. /Shane Hnetka
Town & Country Plumbing & Heating
1450 S Railway St. 306-352-4328 tccomfort.com
Runners-up Hybrid Electric (2nd), Fossum Electric (3rd).
I like doing a lot of home maintenance things myself. Building, painting, etc. But one thing I never ever touch is the electrical. Once as a kid I was electrocuted, and it’s an experience I never ever want to repeat. So when something needs to done electrically it’s a call to the good folks of Town & Country Plumbing & Heating. Yes I know their name only has Plumbing and Heating in it. But any more words and it just becomes a mouthful. Still, they’re good at their job. And I don’t electrocuted — this time. /Shane Hnetka
Parkland Carpet One
1600 8th Ave. 306-525-9125 parklandcarpetoneregina.com
Runners-up Alford’s (2nd), Carpet Superstore (3rd).
Flooring is essential for your ability to walk around your house. Trust me, dirt and random wood beams don’t cut it. Parkland Carpet One is the best place to get a variety of flooring to enable you to walk around without falling into the basement. They have everything from laminate, vinyl and hardwood to carpet. There’s more to a great flooring store than just product selection, of course. You also need great service. Parkland has that too to help you pick the right floor for your home. /Shane Hnetka
Best Home Builders
2901 Saskatchewan Dr. 306-205-7313 harmonybuilders.ca
Runners-up Homes by Dream (2nd), Fiorante Homes (3rd), Ripplinger Homes (4th), North Ridge (5th), Porchlight Developments (6th).
Listening is key to building the perfect home. And Harmony Builders has always taken the time to listen with perfect pitch. No wonder so many people in Regina continue to sing their praises. As a husband and wife team, Katrina Stettner and Matt Rogina started their careers working in the housing industry. After learning the ropes, they started out on their own. And they continue to raise the bar of what it means to build a quality home in Regina. As an official Holmes Approved Homes builder, they are dedicated to building homes right at no extra cost to their clients. /Mike Shiplack
Best Mortgage Broker
TMG The Mortgage Group 206-4303 Albert St. 306-201-6500 skottenns.com
Runners-up Rochelle Wickenheiser, Dominion Lending Centres (2nd), Carla Siebel, Dominion Lending Centres (3rd), Ryean Campbell, TMG (4th), Ian Leverington, TMG (5th).
Skott Enns is a man of his word. I learned this quickly working with Skott when he used to sell radio advertising. He wanted to gross a million dollar in sales one year — he did that. Then he wanted to marry the loveliest girl in the office — he did that too. Then he wanted to travel the world before starting a family. A year later, he returned with a full passport and now has two lovely kids. “I work for you, not the lender,” says Skott Enns on his website. And you can trust him 100 per cent on that. Even better is he’ll do it at no cost to you. /Mike Shiplack
Town & Country Plumbing & Heating
1450 S Railway St. 306-352-4328
Runners-up Aquarius Plumbing and Heating (2nd), Litzenberger Plumbing & Heating (3rd), Platinum Plumbing & Heating (4th), JLS Plumbing & Mechanical (5th).
Doing plumbing yourself sucks. Big time. Trust me. This summer I took it upon myself to tackle a job and it ended up a disaster with leaks, leaks and more leaks. Just when you think you’ve done all the damage you can possibly do, you push on something and snap! So I learned my lesson. It’s best to call the professionals. Town & Country Plumbing & Heating has won this category a few times now, so they obviously know their business. Plus, like I said, DIY plumbing sucks. There’s nothing worse than creating more work than is necessary so Town & Country Plumbing & Heating is your best bet. /Shane Hnetka
Best Real Estate Agent
Harmony Realty 2901 Saskatchewan Dr. 306-205-7313 harmonybuilders.ca
Runners-up Darlene King, Sutton Group (2nd), Sean Malcolm, Royal LePage (3rd), Stacey Maduck, Century 21 (4th), Jenni Bast, Century 21 (5th), Jennifer Fuessel, Realty One (6th).
Katrina Stettner is a force of nature — and must have discovered the secret of time travel. How else can she raise four kids, be co-owner of a home building company, and a real-estate agent all at the same time? Not only that, but she is great at all of it. And Prairie Dog voters agree. Both Harmony Home Builders and Harmony Realty are the best in Regina. It’s part of her due diligence to ensure her clients find that perfect home. And if they can’t find the perfect home, well, then she and her husband can build you one instead. /Mike Shiplack
Best Real Estate Company
Century 21 Dome Realty Inc.
4420 Albert St. & 4535 Rochdale Blvd. 306-789-1222 century21dome.com
Runners-up Royal LePage Regina Realty (2nd), Harmony Realty (3rd), Realty One (4th).
Whether the housing market is booming or in a decline, it can be stressful when you’re buying or selling a property. Real estate is both an art and a science, and it’s best handled by experts who know the intricate details and the ins and outs to help you get the best result. Century 21 Dome Realty has a range of well-trained, knowledgeable and experienced professionals who are just right for the job. In addition, the company is active in the community, donating time and effort to support their charity of choice: Camp Easter Seal near Watrous, a fully-accessible sleep-away camp for children with disabilities. Those are some of the great reasons that explain why our voters have once again chosen Century 21 Dome Realty as Best Real Estate Company. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Yard & Garden Store
3320 Pasqua St. 306-721-4769 dutchgrowers.net
Runners-up WP Home & Garden (2nd), Unique Garden Centre (3rd).
Dutch Growers is well established in Regina as the Best Yard and Garden Store having won this award three years in a row. They carry everything you need for your backyard and more. Plants of every variety, annuals, perennials, trees, evergreens, a large selection of indoor plants and tropicals, and most importantly shrubbery! Next time I’m out on a quest for the Holy Grail and run into knights who need a shrubbery I know just where to send them. /Shane Hnetka
CLOTHES & SHOES
In recognition of Saskatchewan’s membership in confederation and therefore its obligation under Canadian law, footwear is mandated at all times in city limits. Clothes may or may not be worn, as preferred by the individual.
Best Women’s Casual Clothes Store
3024 13th Ave. 306-569-2228 3247 E. Quance St. 306-779-2228 uforiamuse.com
Runners-up Ricki’s (2nd), Havik (3rd), Rhoda’s Elegance Again (4th), Mortise & Tenon (5th).
My front door is literally steps from a soon-to-be-closed pop-up shop that Uforia Muse’s been running on Scarth St. Mall for the last while. I’ve never been inside, but I have seen plenty of their showcase window displays. Uforia Muse’s slogan is “Fashion for Day & Night”. That makes it a nice fit for this category, as casual fashion covers a lot of ground. Sure, there’s “casual” in a truly laidback sense where you’re just hooking up with friends to grab a coffee/drink to catch-up. But there’s also “casual” in a notch-below-formal sense where you don’t pull out all the stops but still want to make a strong fashion statement. No matter which side of the casual spectrum you’re on, Uforia Muse is our voters’ go-to store. /Gregory Beatty
Best Men’s Casual Clothes Store
2135 Prince of Wales Dr. 306-789-9998 winners.ca
Runners-up Coda (2nd), Mortise & Tenon (3rd).
Winners is the winner yet again when it comes to our voters’ choice for Best Men’s Casual Clothes. Whether you’re looking for a great t-shirt and cool pair of jeans for a day out with your buddies, a hot outfit to impress your date or a new ensemble to wear to the office for casual Fridays, you can’t beat Winners when it comes to great value and an ever-changing selection. Heck, even their sock, underwear and accessories sections are filled with unique and quirky items to complete your look. No matter your age, size or fashion style — classic, understated, eclectic or trendy — you’ll find something to love at Winners! And, heck, you might just decide to buy a new sofa, set of dishes or some fancy home décor while you’re there. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Men’s Business Wear Store
Colin O’Brian Man’s Shoppe
1825 Hamilton St. 306-584-9300 colinobrian.com
Runners-up Trinos Menswear (2nd), VIP Menswear (3rd).
Let’s say you have some important business to attend to. There’s a merger to acquire, or some acquisitions to merge, or you’re taking the client out to lunch for the big deal. You’re not going to show up in your pyjamas or sweat pants or the barrel-with-suspenders outfit, which, while admittedly a classic, has not been considered good business attire since 1929. Head to Colin O’Brian Man’s Shoppe, where you can pick up some utterly sleek and fashionable business clothing, from a crisp white pocket square to a pair of John Varvatos shoes. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and they won’t make fun of you if your barrel has a belt instead of suspenders. /Aidan Morgan
Best Women’s Business Wear Store
Five Locations rickis.com
Runners-up The Bay (2nd), Stella & Sway (3rd), Marbella Clothing (4th).
As often happens in real life, great independent clothiers (in this case Stella & Sway and Marbella Clothing) have fallen to a chain. There’s a good reason for this: if you were to pie-chart the fashion needs of busy professional women, you’d find a little slice for great suits, a bit of pie real estate for unique blazers and colourful skirts, and the rest of the pie devoted to plain black pants. In fact, an estimated 15-per cent of a businesswoman’s lifetime income will be spent on them. Sure, Ricki’s sells other stuff — but the economy of women’s clothing is black-pant based, and Ricki’s is a key supplier. /McDuck
Best Boutique Fashion Store
3024 13th Ave. 306-569-2228 3247 E. Quance St. 306-779-2228 uforiamuse.com
Runners-up NWL Contemporary Dresses (2nd), Cade Style Lounge (3rd), Stella & Sway (4th), Marbella Clothing (5th), Studio S Fashion House (6th).
A long time ago Regina fashion was limited to The Bay and Army & Navy. Then something happened on in the Cathedral District that caused an explosion of bright colours and runway fashions to suddenly appear overnight. What started as simply Uforia has further evolved to Uforia Muse. The philosophy is still the same: runway fashions from L.A. and brand names that women love. But there has been one change. Uforia covers ladies for the day, and Muse dresses women for the night. Stop by the original Uforia Muse location on 13th or their east location on Quance St. for fashion that fits your personality like a glove. /Mike Shiplack
Best Men’s Shoes
2445 7th Ave. 306-949-8000 fosters-shoes.com
Runners-up Lusso Shoe Lounge (2nd), Tiki Room (3rd).
Woo!!! Another Warehouse District winner! If you’re looking for high quality shoes that will last a long time, run, don’t walk (see what I did there) to Foster’s. Whether you work in retail and have to stand a lot, or just enjoy walking for pleasure and exercise, their footwear will make your life a lot easier. Sensible brands like Rockport, Keen and New Balance will keep you comfy and stylish at the same time. Fellas, their winter boot line is now available. Regardless of what the Farmer’s Almanac may say, in Saskatchewan, we always need a good boot. And don’t forget their personalized service with insoles and orthotics. I’m speaking here not as a Prairie Dog writer, but a satisfied customer. /Chris Scott
Best Women’s Shoes
Cornwall Centre 306-757-2082 2965 Gordon Rd. 306-586-8722 aldoshoes.com
Runners-up Lusso Shoe Lounge (2nd), Swank Shoe Lounge (3rd), Soles of Whitmore (4th).
There’s a good reason why Aldo is always filled with busy shoppers whenever I set foot in one of their stores. More and more of you have come to realize it’s a fantastic place to buy your boots, sandals, loafers, sparkly high heels, sneakers, and more. This year sees a repeat win for Aldo in the category of Best Women’s Shoes. The win might have something to do with the awesome selection or maybe it’s the reasonable prices or the helpful service from staff. Their footwear and accessories are on-trend, and perfect for the style-conscious shopper. Whatever your reason, it’s obvious many of you love going back to Aldo whenever your feet need a new friend. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Store For Secondhand Clothes
Rhoda’s Elegance Again
3839 Albert St. 306-584-5405 2040 Park St. 306-347-0070 rhodaselegance.ca
Runners-up Value Village (2nd), Salvation Army Thrift Store (3rd), T + A Fashion and Vinyl (4th).
If you’re looking for used, vintage and consignment clothing, footwear and accessories, take our voters’ advice and head to Rhoda’s Elegance . . . Again. Both locations are filled with quality merchandise, so you’re sure to find something you love every visit. The staff is extremely helpful and honest — they’re not the kind of people who will tell you something looks great when, truthfully, it looks like a gunny sack on you. Instead, they’ll help you find just the right item or outfit to make you shine whether you’re looking to add to your work wardrobe, need a fancy outfit for a special event, or just want a few extra pieces to add to your everyday collection. It’s no wonder this long-time Regina business is a repeat winner as Best Store for Secondhand Clothes! /Carolyn Rebeyka
HAIR & BEAUTY
Citizens of Regina are encouraged to be well-groomed and presentable between the hours of 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. Consult the appropriate professionals for assistance. DID YOU KNOW? Due to a quirk of the local gene pool, most Regina-born individuals do not develop eyebrows until their mid-20s.
Face By Meagan facebymeagan.com
Runners-up Kari Eberle, Just For You Day Spa (2nd), Ginette Hall (3rd), Stephanie Froh, Lashes by Stephanie Froh (4th), Stephanie Love, QC Nail Bar (5th), Savanna Glazier, SG Footcare and Aesthetics (6th).
Regina’s Best Esthetician is Meagan Taylor, owner, operator and commander-in-chief of event-based make-up artistry juggernaut Face By Meagan. This eyebrow-pencil-wielding entrepreneur is making Reginans look great at their weddings, corporate events, birthday parties and boudoir portfolio shoots. Visit her website to get the details on all the awesome things she can do to your face. Meagan’s so good you’ll be planning events just to have an excuse to call her. /Stephen Whitworth
Best Hairstylist (Men’s Styles)
MillionHairs Salon 171 Rose St. 306-205-0883
Runners-up Karlissa Dressler, Minx Hair Salon (2nd), Amanda Rae, Amara Salon & Spa (3rd), Jessica Kessel (4th).
Meet Andy Chung, the downtown’s dashing swashbuckler of scissors. Andy’s been cutting hair for a half-decade — and at MillionHairs Salon since May 2015. “A good haircut is the best change for anyone; cheaper than new clothes, easier than working out and definitely a good therapy session,” says Andy, who credits his win to his awesome clients. Andy posts a lot of client photos on Instagram (@chungcuts). Check ‘em out. Fun footnote #1: Andy’s pet, Bella, was a 2015 runner-up for Best Dog. Bella is a chug — part chihuahua, part pug — and is one of those small, evil dogs who hates everybody yet is universally adored (#AttitudeFTW). Fun footnote #2: Andy’s never written his name on a toy in permanent marker. “I don’t know why I never thought of it,” he says. /Stephen Whitworth
Best Hairstylist (Women’s Styles)
Salon 306 4041 Albert St. 306-347-3306
Runners-up Braxton Thomas, Boss Hair & Makeup Boutique (2nd), Karlissa Dressler, Minx Hair Salon (3rd), Amanda Rae, Amara Salon & Spa (4th), Myrna Hastings, Million Hairs Salon and Darcy Kennedy, Crimson Hair (5th tie).
I just checked out Jillian Ripplinger’s body of work — or is that head of work? — on her social media pages. Whoa. Why the heck doesn’t my hair look like that? Like I’m about to blow the doors off my cover shoot for Esquire? Jillian’s clients are effortlessly on-trend and supercool; a glamorous gallery of hair A-listers who look like they belong to a secret society of perfectly-coiffed superstars. I need to join that secret society! Jillian, I know you’re popular and busy, but I hope you’re taking new clients because my hair needs your skills. /McDuck
Best Hair Salon
4041 Albert St. 306-347-3306
Runners-up Shear Escape Salon (2nd), Scissors and Spice (3rd), Million Hairs Salon (4th), Amara Salon and Spa (5th), Minx Hair Salon (6th).
They won last year, and they’re back for an encore! Salon 306 is once again Prairie Dog voters’ choice for Best Hair salon. The shop, on the east side of Albert St. just south of Parliament Ave., is operated by Nicole Dumelie and has staff to handle all your hair and beauty needs. Funny thing: Salon 306 has taken this prize home three times in the last four years, and every time they win we get one of our baldies to write about them. Sometimes I think we’re terrible at this stuff. But you know who’s not terrible? Salon 306! Congratulations on your win, you Regina hair-heroes, you. /Stephen Whitworth
Best Day Spa
Just For You Day Spa
1819 Cornwall St. 306-757-7546 justforyoudayspa.com
Runners-up En Vogue (2nd), Soma South (3rd), Essence Organic Day Spa (4th).
You may think you’re a no-frills kind of rock. No fluffy goddamn robe, aromatherapy, or Enya and low-lights for you. Instead, you’re a rub-a-little-dirt-in-it and don’t complain person. But Just For You, you changed me. I had a neck injury this summer, and you were there for me with a same-day booking when I was in pain. You took my shoes and gave me sweet booties to wear. You sat me in a plush club chair next to a fireplace and gave me a drink to sip on. Then, PD Best of winner and JFY’s Director of Massage Therapy Corynn Mercier didn’t deliver the spa-style relaxation massage I didn’t need (although I’m sure she could). She delivered a serious pain-relieving clinical treatment. But with aromatherapy. /McDuck
Best Tattoo Artist
Traditional Tattoo 1627 Broad St. 306-352-1393
Runners-up Tyler Whitten, New Noise (2nd), Tree, Inkognito (3rd), Klym Mainland (4th), Elly Allen, Midnight Oil Tattoo (5th).
This year’s Prairie Dog voter pick for Best Tattoo Artist is Alyssa Tiefenbach, who works at Traditional Tattoo just across Broad St. from Casino Regina, next door to superb Indian restaurant Caraway (plan accordingly). Alyssa creates whimsical body art that combines gorgeous line-work with a lovely colour palette. She’s especially good at sea scenes (love the octopus on her website), animals, flowers and handwritten mottos. But hey, this is just my take, and I’m not a tattoo guy. I asked my ink-savvy pal Lana to weigh in. “She is a gem,” says Lana. “I’ve seen a lot of wicked pieces done by her popping up recently!” There you go! Follow Alyssa on Instagram (@alyssavtattoos) to keep up on her latest masterpieces. /Stephen Whitworth
SPORTS & FITNESS
Current research suggests physical activity is not inherently fatal. This may be why Reginans are active individuals who always choose a trip to the gym over television, unless something really good is on TLC that night.
Best Bicycle Store
1336 Lorne St. 306-522-0484 dutchcycle.ca
Runner-up Western Cycle (2nd).
Anyone who’s bought a bike at Dutch Cycle has likely had an encounter with Freddy. If they have, they’re also likely a customer for life. That’s what Freddy does. He gets people hooked on riding. Dutch Cycle has every type of bike imaginable. Through their Retul motion capture system, they can also measure a cyclist’s biomechanics. It’s oh so bike nerdy, and super handy to ensure maximum comfort and performance for cyclists. Supporting Freddy is a group of gearheads and technicians who are just as passionate and dedicated about getting people on two wheels. Ask them about the “Dutch Touch” — just try not to giggle. /Mike Shiplack
Best Curling Rink
Callie Curling Club
2225 Sandra Schmirler Way 306-525-8171 callieclub.com
Runners-up Tartan Curling Club (2nd), Highland Curling Club (3rd).
I don’t curl, but I’ve always loved the idea of curling. A sport played on ice that doesn’t involve hip checks, or even skating, and where the rules state the winners have to buy the losers beer? Sign me up. Or, rather, mind if I just hang out in the bar and watch? Thing is, curling rinks are a part of our heritage. And while the sport itself is going through a bit of a downturn, city council still felt it was important enough in our city that they granted the second and third place finishers, the Tartan and Highland rinks, two-year property tax exemptions so they can put together business plans to bring Regina curling into the 21st century. No doubt the Callie was propelled to the top of the Best-Of list because it also hosts roller derby during ice-free months. So, congratulations, Callie, as while I don’t curl, I mightily enjoy the derby. And remember: curling needs more love. Support your local rink. /Paul Dechene
#45B 2223 Victoria Ave. E. 306-525-4663 goodlifefitness.com
Runners-up Gold’s Gym, East (2nd), Readiness Fitness (3rd).
Judging by GoodLife Fitness’s website, “gym” doesn’t even begin to describe the facility. Yes, it’s got all the workout accoutrements you’d expect such as cardio equipment, weights, personal trainers, change rooms and towel service. But it’s also got a pile of other amenities that address lifestyle, recreation and even medical needs. There’s child minding for anyone looking to squeeze in a workout while on parent duty, a dry sauna, virtual reality style cycling/fitness classes, massage therapy, hydro massage, steam room and more. Oh yeah, and it’s open 24/7 so you can hit the “gym” at your convenience. /Gregory Beatty
Best Martial Arts School
Krav Maga Regina
1402 Rose St. 306-522-45425 kravmagaregina.com
Runners-up Spirit of the Dragon (2nd), Victory Gym (3rd), Midwest Karate (4th).
“Self defense with an attitude” is Krav Maga Regina’s slogan. Not sure if I like the sound of that, as the essence of martial arts, in my mind, is to never provoke confrontation but only protect yourself should some doorknob provoke one with you. Krav Maga, itself, is apparently rooted in just such a situation. According to Wikipedia, it was developed by a Hungarian-Slovak man named Imi Lichtenfeld who used his boxing and wrestling skills to defend the Jewish quarter in Bratislava from fascist attacks in the 1930s. Later, Lichtenfeld moved to Israel where he instructed Israeli Defense Forces. Aggression, neutralization and simultaneous defensive and offensive action are the technique’s central tenets, and as practiced at Krav Maga Regina, it’s a hit (pun intended) with Prairie Dog voters. /Gregory Beatty
Best Outdoor Outfitters
4901 Gordon Rd. 306-523-5900 cabelas.ca
Runner-up Fresh Air Experience (2nd).
The outfitting industry has changed a lot over the years. Now, it apparently requires a fudge shop. Yes, Cabela’s has a fudge shop. And archery range. And conference room. Adding to its awesomeness, the 50,000 sq. ft. store features over 170 taxidermied animals that can be hunted across North America. You’ll also find Conservation Mountain with a waterfall, the Bargain Cave, a gift registry — and did I mention the fudge shop?! Their clothing and casual footwear is also popular, even for those whose idea of the outdoors is having a beer on a patio. Best of all, you’ll find pretty much anything and everything you need to hunt, fish, hike, camp, boat and otherwise explore nature. Heck, you don’t even have to go outside to enjoy the great outdoors — just spend a few hours at Cabela’s! /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Skate Shop
2581 Quance St. E. 306-522-7433 offaxis.ca.
Runners-up Tiki Room (2nd), 306 Hip Hop Sk8 (3rd).
If weather forecasts are to be believed, we’re headed for a colder winter than normal. We’ve already had one bout of snow, and photos keep popping up on my newsfeed of ski resorts in the Rockies knee-deep in snow. I haven’t had the courage to click through to see if the reports are true because if they are, whoo-boy, they don’t bode well for the next six months — unless you’re snow boarder, that is. Then you’re gnarled, or stooked, or whatever slang term is currently hip to convey intense excitement. I mention this now because in addition to all the gear you need to skateboard in the summer, OffAxis carries a full line of snowboards and related winter wear for anyone who’s champing at the bit to hit the slopes. As Obi-Wan Kenobi might say “May the powder be with you!” /Gregory Beatty
Best Regina Pat
Runners-up Adam Brooks (2nd), Riley Woods (3rd).
On a team brimming with talent, Sam Steel is your pick for Best Pat for the second straight year. Sandwiched between those triumphs, the talented centre got drafted in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks in June. And under head coach John Paddock, he’s helped his team roar out of the gate to start the 2016-17 season. Currently, the Pats are the #1 ranked junior team in Canada, and are a definite contender to represent the WHL in next May’s Memorial Cup. There’s tons of hockey to be played before then, of course — including, for Steel and teammates Austin Wagner and Connor Hobbs, representing the WHL in the Canada Russia Series. A good showing there, and Steel could find himself wearing the Maple Leaf come the World Junior Tournament at Christmas. /Gregory Beatty
Runners-up Rob Bagg (2nd), Naaman Roosevelt (3rd).
Be sure to read Rider Fan Forum to see what our pundits have to say about the Riders’ performance in 2016, the upcoming CFL playoffs, and what the Riders need to do in the off-season to become legit Grey Cup contenders again. Probably the biggest question facing the Green & White is the status of your pick for Best Roughrider. Darian Durant will soon be a free agent, and it seems inconceivable the team won’t do everything in its power to re-sign him. Still, it seems equally inconceivable that he won’t draw interest from teams with a QB deficit such as the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Let the negotiations begin. /Gregory Beatty
Best Roller Derby Athlete
Runners-up Dolly Hardon (2nd), Ruby Rawbones (3rd), Cyndi Drop’Her (4th), Tabrrknuckle (5th), Anguish Litorture (6th).
Supertramp (“my friends call me Tramp”) is a blocker with the Bone City Beaver Dames (home team) and the All-Star Sugar Skulls (travel team). She’s been doing roller derby since November 2009 and has sustained two concussions, ACL and MCL tears, whiplash and a torn rotator cuff in the line of duty. According to her profile, she likes punk, metal, folk, comics and kicking ass, and dislikes ignorant people. In other words, she’d be great to get a beer with. Thank you for kicking ass, Supertramp. Regina salutes you. /Chris Scott
Due to continuing problems, unprofessional services have been discontinued. Please review the following list of recommended providers, who will be able to help.
Best Advertising Agency
Runners-up Look Agency (2nd), Bravo Tango Advertising (3rd).
The advertising industry is changing. A traditional advertising campaign that mixes print, radio and television isn’t the only option any more. You also have online advertising, and that requires precise communication strategies delivered in real time. Crafting a message that speaks to both the hearts and minds of the customer is not a simple task, especially when people’s attentions spans are so — squirrel! No matter how the needs of business change in the 21st century, the Phoenix Group continues to change with them to deliver results that get the job done. /Mike Shiplack
Best Advertising Campaign
Hillberg & Berk “Spring Summer 2016 Collection”
Runners-up Regina Public Library “Spring and Summer” (2nd), Westerra “Plan Your Future” (3rd).
Hillberg & Berk’s Spring Summer 2016 collection, marketed with the tag Embrace the City of Light, follows the high-brow tradition of cinematic-quality ads that focus on style and ambiance. It features ethereal spring goddesses, sometimes with flowers in their hair, seated in a meadow with tea and macaroons, or preparing to ride a stylish vintage bicycle through fields of lilac. The stunning women are all casually draped with Hillberg & Berk’s signature sparkled necklaces, bracelets and other baubles in shades of blush and opal. The H&B brand has made it — from the ears of soccer moms to the décolletage of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s earned the right to flaunt its elegance, including this dreamy campaign that captured our voters’ hearts. /McDuck
Best Auto Repair
Regina Auto Body
1800 Angus St. 306-757-6683 reginaautobody.ca
Runners-up Kuntz Automotive (2nd), Kinetic Auto Service (3rd).
If I ever do decide to fix my dead dead car the best place to go is Regina Auto Body. You can’t miss it — it’s got a yellow compact sticking out of the window. That’s intentional by the way, and not an accident. Regina Auto Body’s been in business for over 90 years, so they obviously know their stuff. Same location all that time too. Not sure if they had a Model T sticking out of the window back in 1924, but it’s a tradition they’ve had for quite awhile. And Regina Auto Body is SGI accredited so if you’ve been in an accident this is the place to get your car fixed. /Shane Hnetka
Best Auto Glass Repair
Speedy Auto Glass
1205 Albert St. 306-525-9558 4525 Albert St. 306-337-1021 speedyglass.ca
Runners-up Glacier Glass (2nd), A Touch of Glass (3rd).
If you’re like me you have to drive on things like the Ring Road to get around Regina, and eventually you end up with some big truck flinging a rock at your windshield. Sometimes it’s just a small chip. Sometimes it’s a massive crack or worse. Well, the good folks at Speedy Auto Glass can fix you up and get your car back on the road without it looking like a prop in a post-apocalyptic action movie. /Shane Hnetka
Best Bank Branch
TD Canada Trust – Rochdale
4011 Rochdale Blvd E. 306-780-0395 tdcanadatrust.com
Runners-up BMO, Northgate (2nd), TD Canada Trust, Downtown (3rd).
I’ve banked at places where the hours haven’t been the most convenient to a person who works retail. Usually by the time I get off, the bank is closed which is fine in today’s world — online banking being what it is. But sometimes it’s good to actually talk to a person face-to-face. Having actually banked at your pick for Best Bank Branch for some time I can vouch that the tellers are excellent and this particular branch is open seven days a week. They are even open late on Thursdays and Fridays for those who have to work until 6 p.m. What more could you ask from a bank branch? /Shane Hnetka
Best Credit Union Branch
Conexus – Albert South
4540 Albert St. 306-780-1865 conexus.ca.
Runners-up Affinity, Rochdale (2nd), Conexus, Wallace St. (3rd), Affinity, Hill Ave. (4th).
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses recently surveyed 11,000 small business owners and asked them to rank financial institutions on four criteria involving fees, service and management. Summarizing its findings in a report called “The Battle of the Banks” CFIB found that credit unions outperformed banks. Too often with the Toronto-based big banks, the CFIB stated, small business owners felt like a number as those institutions increasingly shift their focus to uber-wealthy clients. Credit unions, conversely, have a strong local management presence, and that gave small business owners confidence they were getting a fair shake. And for Prairie Dog voters, Conexus on Albert South is the top performer. /Gregory Beatty
Best Insurance Agents
Knight Archer Insurance
512 Victoria Ave. E. 306-569-2288 4147 Rochdale Blvd. 306-525-8888 knightarcher.com
Runners-up Harvard Western Insurance (2nd), Dusyk & Barlow (3rd), Campbell & Haliburton (4th), Bassendowksi Agencies (5th).
It’s a five-peat for Knight Archer in this category! Established in 1981, this is clearly a company that lives up to its motto “Making Life Easier” with countless business and consumer choice awards to show for its efforts over the years. Clients of this full-service insurance and mortgage brokerage know the staff to be courteous, friendly and knowledgeable. Knight Archer is respected in the community for more than their business efforts — they’re also visible and active in supporting various charities, sports teams and community events. Great service, a wide range of products, helpful staff, community-minded, conveniently located and a solid reputation — no wonder Knight Archer is the place our voters go to ensure they and their valuables are well-protected. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Noble Johnston 1143 Lakewood Ct. 306-949-5616 noblejohnston.com
Runners-up Yens Pedersen, Pedersen Law (2nd), Ken Karwandy, KMP Law (3rd), Mervin Phillips, Phillips & Co. (4th).
Lawyers have a bad rep in our society. “Shyster”, “ambulance chaser” and “mouthpiece” are only three of the pejorative terms that have been coined to describe these practitioners of one of the blackest arts yet devised by humanity — LAW. But consider the alternative, which in my mind is LAWLESSNESS where people rob and murder and otherwise violate the legal rights of others with impunity if they have the power and desire to do so. Far better, in my mind, to set up a structure of well-reasoned and hopefully just principles to govern our interaction with each other. And lawyers, along with judges, legal scholars, and legislators are a vital part of that system. For Prairie Dog voters, Bill Johnston is Regina’s top shyst — uh, lawyer. /Gregory Beatty
Best Professional Photographer
Runners-up Collin Stumpf Photography (2nd), Jackie Hall Photography (3rd), Kiriako Iatridis (4th), Peter Scoular (5th).
There was quite a race in this category. Yes sir, it was a real “photo finish”. (Ha-ha!) You’d think with digital cameras, photography would be in eclipse as an art form. Back in the old days, when people used actual film, which came in 24-shot rolls, and you had to pay handsomely to develop, taking pictures was serious business — and on important occasions such as weddings, graduations and family portraits, best left to professionals. Even today, though, investing in a quality photographer when you’re looking to document a special moment in your life is still a wise investment. And when Prairie Dog voters are looking to do that their top pick is Nicole Gerhardt. /Gregory Beatty
Best Printing Services
1785 Albert St. 306-585-3256 floprint.com
Runners-up Impact Printers (2nd), Allied Printers and Promotions (3rd), Western Litho (4th).
I’ve worked in print most of my adult life, but have never actually seen the inside of any of the plants that have taken the words I’ve typed on my computer and turned them into a flesh and blood — okay, that’s a little too melodramatic. It’s not like the magazine I end up holding in my hands at the end of the whole process is alive. But it does have a tangible presence that words and pictures on a screen lack (no offense to our online readership). Only a handful of western Canadian companies print on the scale we require at Prairie Dog, but for our voters Floprint is their go-to shop for custom-printed T-shirts, jerseys, decals, stickers, signs, posters and other personal and professional print needs. /Gregory Beatty
Best Travel Agents
SellOffVacations.com 4137 Albert St. 306-790-2002 selloffvacations.com
Runners-up Gloria Olson, TPI (2nd), Tammy Prost, Tropical Escapes (3rd).
With advances in online technology, travel agent is another profession you’d think would be going the way of the Dodo. When it comes to simple trips involving direct flights between large cities and stays at major hotels that’s perhaps true. But with adventure tourism on the rise, and people travelling to all sorts of exotic destinations from the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere in between, travel agents can offer a degree of security to clients that everything a vendor might promise on a website actually lives up to expectations. By doing that, they help ensure that a once-in-a-lifetime adventure doesn’t turn into a once-in-a-lifetime nightmare. And for Prairie Dog voters, Emily Chambers is their go-to travel agent. /Gregory Beatty
On Thursday Nov. 10, all citizens will be assigned to a new designated neighbourhood. Once you receive your placement, proceed to your new location in a quick and orderly manner. Further information follows.
Best Locally Owned Business (Downtown/Central)
NWL Contemporary Dresses
1853 Hamilton St. 306-546-2246 nwldresses.com
Runners-up Off the Leash Pet Grooming (2nd), Mortise & Tenon (3rd), The Junction (4th).
NWL describes itself on its website as a dress boutique specializing in contemporary wedding, graduation, special occasion and ready-to-wear dresses. With its win over a huge number of other businesses here, it’s obvious that our voters have come to know NWL as all that and more. Chances are when you tell a friend she looks gorgeous in her dress, or see a photo of a beautiful gown worn by someone attending a special event in the city, NWL was the store where it was purchased. They carry a great selection of designer brands and sizes, catering to a wide range of fashion tastes from traditional to trendy and everything in between. The staff provide service that’s second to none, knowing it’s important for you to look your best for your special occasion. If you’re looking for a fancy frock that’s sure to impress, you know you can trust NWL to deliver. /Carolyn Rebeyka
Best Locally Owned Business (East End)
Wascana Flower Shoppe
333 Victoria Ave. E. 306-522-5243 wascanaflowers.ca
Runners-up The Make-Up Lounge & Style Bar (2nd), Prairie Aquatics and Exotics (3rd), Studio S Fashion House (4th), Saffyre Salon and Spa (5th)
Wascana Flower Shoppe knocked it out of the park in three categories this year, so clearly they are doing something right. Their Facebook page has gorgeous pix of their floral creations and reviews like “they are true artists and they treat their guests like family.” If you’re getting married, check out the many testimonials from happy brides. They have a wreath-making class around Christmas, and their Mother’s Day arrangements have put smiles on many faces. And if you want real customer service, check out the FB stories of them replacing wilted flowers. /Chris Scott.
Best Locally Owned Business (Northwest)
Face By Meagan facebymeagan.com
Runners-up Soma Spa North (2nd), Bloom Learning Centre (3rd).
Regina’s Best Locally Owned Business is a small operation run by independent make-up artist Meagan Taylor called, fittingly, Face By Meagan. Meagan leads a personally-trained team of artists that helps her clients look great at weddings, events, grads, photo shoots and other occasions. Face By Meagan’s well-designed website has galleries that show the company’s work and make it easy to book a session. Face By Meagan also has a Makeup For Every Day seminar that will give you the skills to take charge of your daily look. /Stephen Whitworth
Best Locally Owned Business (South End)
Crocus & Ivy
4065 Albert St. 306-522-0877 crocusandivy.com
Runners-up Zippity Zoom Toys (2nd), KitchenGear (3rd), Nikky’s Classy Canine Mobile Grooming (4th).
Carol Brundige and Debbie Kosior, the owners of Crocus & Ivy, I’m told, are “amazing women with incredible vision and passion for what they do”. Ever since the store opened in 2001 great care has been put into every detail, from special orders and merchandise display to gift wrapping and special events, to keep customers coming back. The store’s motto is “Beautiful living for home, kids and her” and the vast array of amazing products lives up to that promise whether your style is modern, traditional, or something in between. The store has a popular gift registry, and the staff are always happy to help you find just the perfect item for a friend, family member or yourself. Congratulations to Crocus & Ivy, this year’s choice for Best Locally Owned Business (South End). /Carolyn Rebeyka
The Best Of Regina was edited by Gregory Beatty, who nearly died. In appreciation and in addition to inadequate financial compensation, Greg will receive a medal plus subsidized treatment for his Post-Traumatic Best Of Regina Disorder (PTBORD). Although Greg wrote basically a million blurbs, Additional writing was provided by Amy Couzens, Paul Dechene, Shane Hnetka, McDuck, Aidan Morgan, Carolyn Rebeyka, Chris Scott and Stephen Whitworth. Darrol Hofmeister took a whole bunch of spectacular photos, like he ever takes bad ones. Also I think I’m forgetting someone. Crap. Sorry about that, whoever you are.
Additional services were provided by Chris McCrank and publisher Terry Morash. Our compliments to the hard-working and patient superheroes at Estevan Web Printing, who, it should be said, are spectacularly intelligent, good-looking human beings. We love you guys so much.
In some cases the conclusions of Best Of Regina 2016 may differ from those of a particular reader. If you are unhappy with any Best Of winners, well, did you vote? Did you? No? Then quit complaining. Oh, you did? Well, your horse lost. That’s democracy. Stephen Harper doesn’t like it, either. Buck up, and better luck next year!