A JunoFest Manual

Your guide to the bands, the bars, the restaurants, the culture, the attractions and the forbidden romance of the 2013 Junos

The Juno Awards are fine, but when they’re in our city? Holy crap. All of a sudden our small government town will be transformed from a moderately active, pleasant enough little place to live to Canadian Music Party Central. Our focus here is Junofest, a two-day explosion of music that, frankly, I don’t think our citizens are fully prepared for. But that’s all right. First, we Reginans (and our allies, the Moose Javiens) are nothing if not adaptable. And second: loveable Prairie Dog, a.k.a. Regina’s Only Alternative, A.K.A. one of the few furiously independent little newspapers left in this country, A.K.A. the newspaper you’re reading right now, is here to help with this handy JunoFest manual! In it you’ll find piles of information—much of it useful, some of it amusing, parts of it magnificently stupid and ALL of it  just, well, awesome. Enjoy your Junofest!

1. AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF FUN THINGS TO DO IN REGINA

Some people think the trick to having a good time in a place like Regina is knowing you’ll be leaving shortly. Tut-tut! Are you not a citizen of the world? True sophisticates know they must look past first impressions to get to the central truth of a place. And Regina? Regina is just fine! We have a whack of good galleries (free entry!), a fabulous museum (check out the old-school dioramas!), fun clubs, and parks to take a breather out of doors. It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to reach the city limits, too, which means you’ve got  easy access to that big-sky country (which, on clear nights,  is spectacular for stargazing).

Also, if you’re not from here, there are things about Regina that will seem exotic. At least that’s what I thought when I moved here seven years ago. It’s changed a lot in recent years, but it still has honest pockets that are like a weird time capsule of classic Canadiana culture. Regina could market itself as a place where hipsters might go to take a vacation from irony (which, let’s face it, must be exhausting).

Also, Regina is the first place I ever tried a rye & ginger ale, and it quickly became a favourite. Don’t make that face! Have you tried it? No? Well then. /Vanda Schmöckel

1.1 ATTRACTIONS

Casino Regina 1880 Saskatchewan Dr., (306) 565-3000, casinoregina.com.

Dunlop Art Gallery 2311 12th Ave., (306) 777-6040, dunlopartgallery.org.

Mackenzie Art Gallery 3475 Albert St., (306) 584-4250, mackenzieartgallery.ca.

Neutral Ground Gallery 856 Scarth St., (306) 522-7166, www.neutralground.sk.ca.

RCMP Heritage Centre 5907 Dewdney Ave., (306 )522-7333, rcmpheritagecentre.com.

Royal Saskatchewan Museum 2445 Albert St., (306) 787-2815, royalsaskmuseum.

Saskatchewan Science Centre 2903 Powerhouse Dr., (306) 522-4649, sasksciencecentre.com.

1.2 DINING

Afghan Cuisine 832 Albert St., (306) 949-0800, www.afghancuisine.ca.

Bombay East Indian Halal Restaurant 2143 Albert St., (306) 205-4940, bombayrestaurant.ca.

Bonzinni’s 4634 Albert St., (306) 586-3553.

Booster Juice Cornwall Centre 2102 11th Ave., boosterjuice.com.

Burger Baron 681 Albert St., (306)522-0323; 2830 Quance St. E., (306) 522-0360,

burgerbaron.com.

Cathedral Village Freehouse 2062 Albert St., (306) 359-1661, freehouse.com.

China Doll 1458 Broad St., (306) 352-1221, www.cdoll.ca.

Copper Kettle 1953 Scarth St., (306) 352-8888.

The Creek Bistro 3414 13th Ave., (306) 352-4448.

Da India Curry House 806 Victoria Ave., (306) 522-1331, www.daindiacurry.com.

Fireside Bistro 2305 Smith St., (306) 761-2305, firesidebistro.ca.

Flavours of India 305 Victoria Ave., (306) 757-5353, flavoursofindia.ca.

Fresh & Sweet 2500 Victoria Ave., (306) 751-2233, valleygirlscatering.ca.

Hanabi Sushi 1950 Broad St., (306) 585-8880, www.hanabi.ca.

Juliana Pizza 5064 4th Ave., (306) 543-1221.

Michi Japanese Restaurant 1943 Scarth St., (306) 565-0141, michi.ca.

Monterey Bay Bistro on Quance 2589 Quance St., (306) 347-3230.

Pasta Prima 4440 Albert St., (306) 347-2782, www.pastaprima.ca.

Peking House 1850 Rose St., (306) 757-3038.

Smokin Okies BBQ 2547 Quance St. E, (306) 347-2800, www.smokinokiesbbq.com.

Theo Bills 530 Victoria Ave. E., (306) 359-0428.

Zam-Zam Cornwall Centre 2102 11th Ave., (2nd floor) (306) 522-9727.

1.3 PUBS/ CLUBS/LIQUOR

Empire Hotel 1718 McIntyre St., (306)522-2544.

Four Seasons 909 Arcola Ave. E, (306) 525-8338, 4seasonspalace.com.

The German Club 1727 John St.,  (306) 352-5897.

Hotel Saskatchewan 2125 Victoria Ave., (306) 522-7691.

O’Hanlon’s 1947 Scarth St., (306) 522-4094.

1.4 A SAFARI IN OUR REGINA

If you’re a stranger in town, think about your trip to Regina like a safari. Okay, more like that awful zoo they used to have in Moose Jaw where the lions were mange-y and all the bears had diarrhea but the key thing is to approach the local human fauna with healthy respect and a little caution. Likewise, locals should take care to return visitors in the same shape they found them. Here is some advice to make your Regina safari experience memorable — but not too memorable — for both Canadian visitors and Regina residents alike. /Carle Steel

1.4.1 FOR OUR CANADIAN GUESTS

It’s been a long winter for Regina’s local inhabitants, feral and hungry on the Great Plains, enduring the occasional die-off from boredom and frustration. All this snow has left us weak-willed and ravenous — a dangerous combination to be sure. It’s not unheard of for travellers to get gummed to death; visiting artists should take special precautions. You may find it prudent and even enjoyable to just relax and let nature take its course, but be careful that you don’t remain with your new local friend after your fellow Canadians have left the province. Do NOT let local inhabitants, no matter how urban-looking, take you to their warm character homes and talk to you about real estate prices. That way lies doom. If you wish adopt a local, it’s best to arrange your departure first, and come back for it at a later date.

1.4.2 FOR LOCAL INHABITANTS

The Canadians who come to the Junos are like oryxes, with their big soft eyes, beautiful and frail, a little light in the brains department. Yes, they’re adorable, but they won’t last long here. It is best just to corner them for a night or two, and not drag things out until they starve to death or the warden takes them away. Inter-species adoptions in Saskatchewan are fraught; we simply don’t have the variety of foods, public services and entertainment to keep urban Canadians healthy here. The ennui of a starving Torontonian or Montrealer stranded here for love is a terrible thing to watch. If a relationship develops, it’s best for everyone involved if the Canadian can get you out of Saskatchewan and on to happier hunting grounds.

Luckily, the local and provincial authorities have promoted emigration — by trashing the film industry, demolishing heritage buildings, attacking unions, ignoring a housing crisis and de-funding universities — and it’s more attractive than ever.

And we all know that Saskatchewanians adapt very well to other habitats.

1.5 REGINA ARTS AND CULTURE

In early March, Kelly Hill of Toronto-based Hill Strategies Research was in Regina to deliver a talk on stats that he’d gathered through number-crunching census data on different aspects of the arts — participation rates, economic impact, volunteers and donors, government funding, etc.

Because of the shortage of data on the arts, a lot of extrapolation is involved, but one correlation stands out: the biggest factor affecting engagement in the arts isn’t income or age as you might expect, rather, it’s participation in other cultural events. It makes sense, I suppose. If you’re interested in something like music or visual art you’ll likely be interested in other types of art like dance or theatre.

Music is the focus of the Junos but even there, other art forms like graphic design and fashion are involved. So chances are pretty good that if you’re reading this with the intention of checking out JunoFest you’re interested in a range of cultural activities. Here’s some options to consider for JunoFest weekend and beyond.

First off, there’s a trio of exhibitions specifically related to the Junos. If you only have time to see one, my pick would be Greatest Hits: The Juno Tour of Canadian Art at the MacKenzie Gallery. For over a year now, whenever a prominent Canadian touring act was in town a member or two would visit the gallery and pick an art work from the permanent collection that they’d pair with a song from the band’s catalogue.

Metric, Whitehorse, Arkells, Stars, and Tegan & Sara are some of the acts who participated [see 1.5.1]. It’s an intriguing proposition. So it will be interesting to see the results.

Another Juno-related exhibition worth checking out is The Power of Music: Sustainability & the JUNOS at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. “The exhibit explores how musicians have written music around three themes: nature, resilience and wisdom and the idea of those being aspects of living more sustainability,” RSM biologist Glenn Sutter, himself a singer-songwriter, observed in a recent interview.

“When we started investigating that topic and how music has played a role in those areas we found a goldmine,” Sutter said. “There’s been a lot of music written and activism by leading songwriters in Canada and that lent itself to a pretty interesting exhibit that involves four listening stations where you learn about the causes that artists are supporting and also hear songs that they’ve written.”

Over 20 Juno Award-winning artists have contributed to the exhibit including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer and Neil Young. And sustainability is defined broadly to include things like bio-diversity, urban development and social inequity.

As an added bonus with both the MacKenzie and Royal Sask. shows, if you hit either you’ll be able to check out Wascana Centre which is a 2300 acre park in the city centre that also includes the Legislature.

The final Juno-related exhibition at Central Library features fashion memorabilia related to the Junos. The iconic piece is the wedding dress k.d. lang wore when she accepted the Most Promising Female Vocalist Juno in 1985.  But there’s also items from Avril Lavigne (autographed sneakers) Terri Clark (white rhinestone suit), Tom Cochrane (suede cowboy boots) and other notables — no sexy hockey jersey from Shania Twain’s Juno turn in 2003, unfortunately. But the show’s still worth a look.

If you do make it to the library, stop by the Dunlop Gallery. It’s got an exhibition by Ottawa painter Carol Wainio called The Book that critiques illustrated children’s books — the narratives they recount, the values they transmit, stuff like that.

If you’re interested in sports, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is right on Victoria Park too. It’s got all sorts of memorabilia on the province’s pride and joy the Saskatchewan Roughriders along with the rest of Saskatchewan’s sporting history.

The RCMP Heritage Centre is a big Regina tourist attraction too. It’s located at the cadet training academy on Dewdney Ave. and has all sorts of info on the force’s 140 year history. It’s near Government House which is the restored home of the province’s Lt. Governor. And if you like a bit of science with your arts the Saskatchewan Science Centre has an exhibition on futuristic inventions that Leonardo da Vinci conceived of in the 15th century like the helicopter, submarine and bicycle. It’s also got a high def recreation of da Vinci’s Last Supper.

That’s not the limit of cultural things to do in Regina. But time is at a premium this weekend. Elsewhere in this guide, you’ll hopefully find a restaurant feature and maybe something on shopping. So stuff like that is covered there.

Oh, and if you’re into architecture, Regina has some nice buildings. True, many more have fallen victim to the wrecking ball because that’s a thing we do here. But if you’re downtown, one building you should check out is SaskPower at the corner of Victoria Ave. and Scarth St. It was designed by Joseph Pettick and it’s won numerous awards for its S-like diagonal design.

And yes, the fountain out front does work. But only in the summer when there’s no chance of the pipes freezing. /Gregory Beatty

1.5.1 SARAH SLEAN, BRAD MATES AND THE ART OF THE JUNOS

Emerson Drive was one of two country acts, along with Doc Walker, to participate in Greatest Hits: The Juno Tour of Canadian Art. In an e-mail exchange, Brad Mates, Emerson Drive’s lead singer said he was a fan of visual art and gravitated to work that recalled “stuff I grew up with and images that make me feel at home.  I like the idea that I can put myself into a scene I’ve never before experienced.”

When Mates visited the MacKenzie’s permanent collection, he says, “it was a little overwhelming, but I found a new appreciation for all that goes into keeping up a collection of work.”

Ultimately, he selected a painting by David Thauberger called Eclipse. The song Mates paired the painting with was “We Are This Town”.

“I was drawn to the mountains [in the painting],” he says. “That reminded me of fishing when I was growing up.  A peaceful element that made me think of home. The song to me talks about what makes you a part of your home town… the picture brought me to that place.”

Sarah Slean is another Greatest Hits participant. In an e-mail exchange, she said she had a strong interest in visual art.

“I loved to paint and draw when I was a kid, and I still do,” she said. “Everyone had that one teacher who made a significant impact on their lives — mine was my high school art teacher. His class wasn’t just about art. It was about history, power, politics, sociology, and how they’re all intertwined.”

Slean selected a Marcel Dzama drawing called Horns. Slean describes herself as a huge Dzama fan. “His drawings have a vaguely nostalgic, child-like quality — but with an unsettling edge. He pairs a classic ‘Norman Rockwell’ normalcy with some element that’s darkly comic or even sinister. It’s creepy and sort of funny.”

Slean paired the drawing with her song “The Devil & the Dove.” Horns, she notes, has a central figure with two small figures on either shoulder. Instead of the typical angel/devil dilemma, though, “Dzama has drawn a trombone player and what appears to be a cowboy in a snowman costume.

“I’m not entirely sure it’s intentional, but the central figure looks like Friedrich Nietzsche.  Nietzsche didn’t think that morality was an innate part of our nature or of the world itself. So it seems to me that this image is a little philosophical joke — but a seriously dark one.”

Citing the line “fools will bet on their horses, wise men learn to love”, Slean says she considers “The Devil & the Dove” to be a rebuttal to the drawing. “I can agree that good and evil are human constructs, and that Nature has a neutrality that is hard to deny. But I do think there is something close to an organizing, ordering principle — LOVE.

“There is something so universal and so powerful about the experience of LOVE, in all its incarnations, that it’s difficult for me to get completely on board the absurdist bandwagon… even if it does make for a very funny, creepy drawing.” /Gregory Beatty

2. AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF FUN THINGS TO DO IN MOOSE JAW

Where does Regina go for a good time? Moose Jaw! It’s only a 45-minute scenic drive away, and has a beautifully intact main street chock-a-block with heritage buildings, good coffee spots and a renowned  mineral spa. Rest assured, Regina’s much prettier cousin knows how to treat you right! /Vanda Schmockel

2.1 ATTRACTIONS

Moose Jaw Cultural Centre 217 Main St N Moose Jaw (306) 693-4700 moosejawculture.com.

Moose Jaw Exhibition Company (SK Burrowing Owl Interpretative Centre) 250 Thatcher Drive East (306) 692-2733 moosejawex.ca.

Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery  Crescent Park (306)692-7319 mjmag.ca.

Temple Gardens Mineral Spa 24 Fairford St E (306) 694-5055 templegardens.sk.ca.

Tunnels of Moose Jaw 18 Main St N  (306) 693-5261 tunnelsofmoosejaw.com.

Wakamow Valley 306-692-2717 wakamow.ca.

Western Development Museum 50 Diefenbaker Dr  (306) 693-5989 wdm.ca/mj.

2.2 DINING

Cordova Bistro 361 Main St N. (306) 693-7100.

DK Sushi House 224 Main St N. (306) 692-4888.

Family Pizza 410 Lillooet St W  (306) 692-5336.

Java Express 23 Main St. (306) 693-5282.

Kerganos 71 High Street W (306)692-3933 kerganos.com.

The Mad Greek 925 Main St N. (306) 693-4333  themadgreekeatery.com.

National Café 20 Main St N. (306) 692-1500.

Nit’s Thai Food 124 Main St. N (306) 694-6404 nitsthaifood.ca.

Saigon 75 314 Main St. N (306) 694-2188 Saigon75.ca.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt 125 Main St N (306) 693-3001.

Verobas Family Restaurant 28 Fairford St W   (306) 693-5943.

2.3 PUBS/ CLUBS/LIQUOR

Bobby’s Place Olde World Tavern 63 High St. (306) 692-3058.

Bugsy’s Irish Pub 1235 Main St N. (306) 692-8479.

Champs Sports Bar 82 Manitoba St. W (306) 694-4900.

Chillers Brew Pub 510 Home St W (306) 694-5100 chillersbrewpub.ca.

Corner Stone Inn Pub & Eatery 8 Main St. N (306) 692-4747 thecornerstoneinn.com.

Park Hotel 28 Manitoba St E (306) 692-2321.

SLGA Liquor Store 5 Manitoba St. W.

3. MORE MOOSE: WHAT TO DO IN MOOSE JAW ACCORDING TO PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LIVE THERE

So you’ve got your Juno tickets. You’ve got your bags packed up and, if you’re lucky, you’ve got a hotel room too. Well good for you. But while the Juno weekend surely promises to be full of red carpets, Canadiana, and maybe even a little fawning over Justin Bieber, you’re still going to have some down time. And though it might be fun to sit in a hotel room watching terrible movies while devising a plan to get backstage and play grab-ass with Michael Buble, why not get out there and see what southern Saskatchewan has to offer?

For those staying in Regina, it won’t be too hard to plan some excursions. But for those in Moose Jaw, what the hell are you going to do? After all, what fun can you have in a city of only 34,000 people, with one of the oldest demographics in Saskatchewan and one of the weirdest names in Canada?

Surely the hotel room is a better option.

Well you’re wrong, you bunch of unimaginative wimps. There’s a lot going on in the ’Jaw if you know where to look. Since, however, the lazy Reginans who run  this paper don’t have a fucking clue about the delightful little town that’s less than an hour west of their city, they asked me, a clever recent graduate of the University of Regina Journalism School who briefly lived in Moose Jaw, to call a few actual Moose Javians about the places they suggest visitors take in before and after Juno events.

The first person I talked to was Dana Haukaas who works at the Moose Jaw Humane Society and has lived in the city all of her life. She said the best time she’s ever had was when she and her sister took their kids to the historic Tunnels of Moose Jaw.

“It was awesome. If you get a good tour guide, they put on an awesome show for you. They really take you back to what it was like to live in both sides of the tunnels,” she said.

There are two tours at the Tunnels. One offers the history of Chinese immigrants in the 1800s and the hardships they faced. The other tells the tale of Al Capone’s alleged days in Moose Jaw where he bootlegged liquor underground.

“My kids had a great time. My youngest nephew was a baby so we kind of got the toned down version of the Passage to Fortune. So I was able to go a second time and get the full tour of that later. But she didn’t want to wake him up because he was sleeping,” said Haukaas.

After you take in each of the tours, you’re probably going to be a little hungry, and, according to Haukaas, if you’re into ginger beef, Moose Jaw has the best.

“Saigon 75 makes the best ginger beef in Canada, I would say. I’ve been a lot of places and they make the best ginger beef I’ve ever had,” she said.

Apparently, downtown Moose Jaw has a lot of delicious places to eat. Kergano’s reportedly has an amazing vegetable burger, and Déjà vu was recently featured on You Gotta Eat Here (the Canadian version of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives). Just about everyone we talked to had a different favourite restaurant, including Boh Van Tassel who owns a bike shop in the city.

“If you want Thai food, we’ve got a world-ranked restaurant here in Nits,” he said, suggesting the Pad Thai. (In fact, Nits is so famous even the know-nothings at this newspaper had heard of it.) “It’s awesome. I like it because I’m not a big hot guy so she makes it just right for me — just a little hot; not too hot. My wife dabs hers up with the hot stuff.”

I’m sure she does, Mr. Van Tassel. But we’re talking food here.

Maybe Brett McKay can get us out of the gutter.

“You could go to Bobby’s for a drink. They have good food and good beer. Sometimes they have good live music there. That would be a good place to chill,” said McKay.

Finally, some alcohol! But McKay might be a little biased considering his band, Lords Kitchener, is playing at Bobby’s Tavern on Friday night. There are a few other places to go for a pint, however. Cornerstone was popular, and Van Tassel said it’s a good idea to check out the liquor store downtown as it has been renovated from an old train station into a modern day booze-fest.

But once your full from ginger beef, and you’ve had a little too much liquor, it’ll probably be a good idea to go for a walk. And according to Ken Dalgarno, the Wakamow Valley is where it’s at.

“It’s a little prairie oasis in the middle of the city,” he said. “It’s got a river going through it and lots of greenery. It’s just very serene and peaceful.”

Yes it is! And apparently so is the mineral spa, located across the street from the casino in downtown Moose Jaw. And you’re going to need a nice, relaxing soak if you plan on getting all of this in during one weekend. But at least now you have some idea of what Moose Jaw has to offer. Food, drinks and entertainment— the perfect supplement to your Juno weekend. Who’d have thought a place named after an animal’s anatomy would have so much to do? /Aaron Stuckel

4. JUNO TROUBLESHOOTING

Planning for the Junos probably began the moment the announcement was made back in September 2011 that the awards would be in Regina and Moose Jaw in 2013. Now, Juno Week is finally here. And all that planning is about to payoff — at least, we hope it will.

But as Scottish bard Robbie Burns so sagely observed in a famous 18th-century poem “shit happens.” Okay, he actually said the Lowland Scots equivalent via the metaphor of a mouse nesting in a farmer’s field — but the sentiment was the same. No matter how much we plan to ensure everything goes smoothly, unforeseen complications and even outright screw-ups inevitably happen. And then? You’re stuck in clusterfuckville.

And nobody wants that. So what could go wrong with this year’s Junos? Well, we’re no psychics like Chip Coffey. But here’s some things to keep an eye on. /Gregory Beatty

4.1 “WEATHER”

Yes, those are sneer quotes. Because what we’ve had to endure this winter should more properly be called a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. Us locals are naturally bummed out about it. But we still have to gear up to welcome visitors from places like Vancouver, Toronto and Tuktoyaktuk who experienced more clement winters than we did.

Suppose some guests fly in from outside the province and start poking good-natured/semi-sadistic fun at us for all the snow and ice still lying around. Things could get ugly pretty quick. So everyone needs take a chill pill — sorry, bad choice of words — and just roll with the meteorological punches.

In addition to all the snow, there’ll likely be a lot of water lying around. Daytime, that means navigating numerous slough-like puddles. And at night those puddles ice over. Rock JunoFest 2013 in a pair of Manolo Blahniks or some other high-end heel (or for men a pair of fancy dress shoes like Florsheims) and mucho damage could result — both to the shoes, and to the wearer should they happen to slip and fall.

Throw in all the “revelry” that’ll be going on at JunoFest, with people rushing from venue to venue to catch different bands, and steps obviously need to be taken to ensure everyone’s safety like cleaning sidewalks properly and reminding people to dress for the cold and windchill.

4.2 4-20

Speaking of revelry, 4-20, the annual gathering to champion the medicinal and recreational value of marijuana and to advocate for its legalization happens during the Junos — on Saturday afternoon, no less. Suppose a huge pile of people show up in Victoria Park — the traditional site of the rally, just steps from the Play It Loud tent on the plaza — and have a really great time celebrating the herb and their own sense of music and community?

Okay, maybe that’s not something we need to troubleshoot for. Other than to recommend police adopt a low-key approach to avoid any perception of harassment or intimidation that the national and international press might pick up on, invariably leading to media reports portraying us as hicks who, in the local vernacular, “don’t cotton to hippies and their dope-smokin’ ways.”

4.3 TRANSPORTATION

According to Chad Guy of the local organizing committee, no special transportation options are planned for the general public during Juno Week. That presents a bit of a problem because one of the charms of a festival like this is lining up a list of bands you want to see and then figuring out a strategy for seeing as many as possible. That inevitably requires you to jump between venues.

We’ll get to Moose Jaw later, but Regina has 14 JunoFest venues. They’re somewhat clustered, but also scattered — not widely. I mean, it’s not like Regina’s a huge city. So the venues are all reachable. But depending on your picks some travel might be involved.

Two options Guy suggests are cabs and public transit. But even on a normal Regina weekend, cabs can be in short supply. So at peak periods over the Junos I’d expect a lengthy wait time. As for public transit, weekdays after 9 p.m. there’s once an hour service on routes that meander a fair bit, and service ends at midnight; and Sundays there’s once an hour service between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a different numbered route system… SO BE FOREWARNED.

Driving is an obvious option — which is fine as long as someone serves as designated driver.

“The key is digging through the JunoFest schedule and deciding who you want to see,” says Guy. “The festival wrist band gets you into every venue throughout the weekend. But my best advice is to plan the weekend out as early as possible because the venues do fill up. So if you want to see a specific act try to get there early and just enjoy yourself.”

4.4 COYOTES

They’ve been spotted hunting rabbits in the frozen expanse of Wascana Centre. Not that they typically pose much of a threat to humans. But should you encounter a surly coyote when you’re out for a walk, here’s some tips:

Coyotes are naturally afraid of us. The most effective way to prevent an “incident” is to reinforce this fear through your behavior. Never approach a coyote, or let your dog approach one. And don’t try to feed one either. If you are approached, scare the coyote away by shouting and waving your arms over your head.

4.5 JUNO JAMOUT

We have the Grey Cup party-til-you-puke-then-grab-a-couple-of-hours-of-shuteye-and-get-back-at’er shtick down pat. Come November, in fact, Regina will host the 101st Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium. The Junos have their share of partying too. But at their core they’re a celebration of Canadian music. And to show the nation that there’s more to Regina/Saskatchewan than just our obsession with watching green-clad men in tight uniforms play football people will hopefully be encouraged to get out and enjoy all the great bands that will be in town.

4.6 NEW SASKATCHEWAN

Throughout most of our 107-year history Saskatchewan has been what, in federal-provincial equalization parlance, is known as a “Have Not” province. Now, because of a strong resource sector, growing population and a generally buoyant economy, we’re a “Have” province that provides equalization payments to other provinces.

One unfortunate consequence of our rise in the Confederation pecking order is that some Saskatchewanians have become a tad smug and prone to gloating. They need to be reminded that excessive displays of nouveau riche behavior are gauche. And that on the environmental front, we’re hugely vulnerable. And that we don’t exactly have a great track record with our First Nations either. And that a lot of times when we do make the national news, it involves one of our Conservative MPs (like Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar’s Kelly Block or Saskatoon-Dumbolt’s Brad Trost) going rogue. So we’ve got a strong taint of redneck about us. And we need to guard against incidents and behaviours that would reinforce that reputation IMHO.

4.7 SMART PHONES

Most trouble-shooting guides usually have a list of numbers to call in case of emergency. But most people have smart phones now that literally put the world at their fingertips.

Still, there may still be people out there (like me, for instance) who don’t have a smart phone. Or something unexpected could happen and someone could be left without a working phone. So here’s some info to keep handy. Remember to dial 306 on phone calls too as we’re in the process of introducing a second area code in Saskatchewan. And yes, for out-of-provincers, we have emergency 911 service just like you do at home.

4.8 TRANSPORTATION

Need a bus? A designated driver? A taxi? Here are some phone numbers and websites. We predict the city’s cab fleets will be unprepared for the scale of this event and that service will be intermittently sketchy as a result. (Yes, we could be wrong about this but we’re not holding our breath.) On balance cab service will probably still be reasonable—this is a smaller city, after all, and even the far-flung  suburbs aren’t flung so far. Yet. Give us another 10 years of developer-driven bad urban planning. We’ll get there.

4.8.1 CABS

Co-op 306-525-2727, Capital 306-791-2222, Regina 306-543-3333, Premiere 306-535-9394.

4.8.2 DESIGNATED DRIVER

Zero 8 306-581-3008, First Choice 306-535-9394.

4.8.3 REGINA TRANSIT

INFO LINE 306-777-7433, www.transitlive.com.

4.9 LIQUOR STORE

If you’re staying downtown there’s a semi-sketchy one at Broad St. and 12th Ave. It’s not open on Sunday though, and it closes at 6 p.m. other days. Other liquor stores are in suburban areas and are open longer hours.

4. 9.1 OFF-SALE

Centrally, the Empire at the corner of Sask. Drive and Albert St. is your best bet. It’s in an area where you want to keep your wits about you but they have a decent selection of booze. Just don’t get into an argument with anyone who looks like they might be a little bit stabby.

4. 9.2 HOTEL

We don’t know where you’re staying dumb-ass! Look it up yourself.

4. 10 MOOSE JAW, YETAGAIN

Despite living in Regina for 40 plus years I’ve never actually been to Moose Jaw, although I do hope to visit with my family when they’re in town this July — assuming the highway isn’t blocked by snow, that is… hah-freaking-hah! So I’m uniquely unqualified to troubleshoot on what might go wrong during the Moose Jaw portion of Juno Week.

The Band City is about 45 minutes west of Regina on #1 Hwy. If you’re heading there to see the Juno Cup on Friday night, or a JunoFest showcase on Friday or Saturday night at the city’s three venues, you’re likely best to make a night of it because you’re facing two hours travel time there and back. And if you do go, make sure to check out the town’s giant mascot Mac the Moose.

And whether you’re in Moose Jaw or Regina, if an issue or problem does arise just head to one of the JunoFest venues. “Volunteers will be at all the venues in JunoFest T-shirts,” says Guy. “If anyone has any questions or concerns, they can help them out. There’s also a manager at each club that we place in there that can answer any questions.”

4.11 LABOUR STRIFE

As this column was being written unionized employees at Brandt Centre, who have been without a contract for over two years, were embroiled in a dispute with Evraz Place management that had resulted in a mediator being appointed. I can’t imagine the dispute not being settled by the time of the Juno Awards telecast on April 21. So here’s hoping.

4.12 GALA SHENANIGANS

The gala caps off four solid days of events, including the Juno Cup on Friday night in Moose Jaw, JunoFest Friday and Saturday night in Regina and Moose Jaw, and Juno Fan Fare and the Songwriter’s Circle in Regina on Saturday and Sunday afternoon respectively.

If the gala goes at Brandt Centre as scheduled, 6000+ people will be on hand, and millions more will be looking in on TV. Yes, everything will be meticulously planned down to the minute. But still, SHIT COULD HAPPEN.

Suppose, for instance, Taylor Swift shows up to see if her CD Red wins the Juno for International Album of the Year? Okay, that wouldn’t really be a disaster. Because despite Taylor’s dismal track record at romance she is kind of hot. Although if the cutsie-poo Irish-English boy band One Direction were to show to rep their Juno-nominated Up All Night in the International category it might be advisable to beef up staff at first aid stations to deal with all the hyper-ventilating teenage girls and projectile-vomiting non-fans.

Rod Stewart is in the running for best International Album too for Merry Christmas, Baby. Suppose he and Taylor Swift both show up, and he ends up hitting on her (or vice versa). That would be GROSS!

4.13 THE UNKNOWN

What else could possibly go wrong? Plenty, I suppose. But actually, we’re kind of hopeful at Prairie Dog. Regina and Moose Jaw (and the rest of Saskatchewan) have some momentum these days. We have lots of problems, true. But some good stuff is happening too. And this is a chance for us to share that vibe with people from other parts of Canada.

Realistically, though, you can pretty much guarantee things won’t run 100-per cent perfectly during Juno Week. But that’s the magic of life. So let’s all get out there and enjoy a great four days of music and community, okay?