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Riders Vs. Stampeders

Action from the June 19 preseason game between the Riders and Stamps at Mosaic Stadium

Action from the June 19 preseason game between the Riders and Stamps at Mosaic Stadium

Heading into the 2015 CFL season this game, which goes at Mosaic Stadium today at 5 p.m., along with a rematch in Calgary on Halloween afternoon, were likely seen as potential first place showdowns between two traditional CFL West powers.

Seven games into the season, the Stamps, at 5W-2L, are definitely in the hunt. They sit one game back of the 6W-2L Edmonton Eskimos pending the outcome of last night’s game in Edmonton where the Eskimos hosted the CFL East leading Hamilton Tiger Cats. After their horrible 0W-7L start, the Riders, though, are pretty much done for 2015, and are now in a position to start the rebuilding process for 2016.

How far the Riders will go in rejigging their roster is a hot topic among fans these days. Do they hang on to fading veterans who are still capable of performing, but who command high salaries, and whose best days are behind them? Or do they either release and/or trade some of these veterans to contending teams to make room for younger players and hopefully stockpile some draft picks.

The Riders play their ninth game of the season on Aug. 30 in Ottawa against the Redblacks. After that, they are on the hook for the salary of any player with six or more years of CFL service. After the Labour Day and Banjo Bowl games against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, that protection extends to players with five and four years of CFL experience respectively. So if Rider GM Brendan Taman and head coach Corey Chamblin are going to make any big moves now would seem to be the time to do it.

As for this game, the Stamps are still missing their star RB Jon Cornish who is on the six-game injury list with a broken thumb. But unless the Riders have found a way during the bye week to solve all their self-destructive tendencies tied to penalties, turnovers, poor tackling and shaky defence it’s hard to envision them notching their first win of the season tonight.

You can find out more information on today’s game on the Riderville website. And in our Sept. 3 issue, we’ll have our mid-season installment of Rider Fan Forum where Cal Corduroy, John’s Chick, Earl Camembert and Ron Mexico will offer their prescriptions to cure what currently ails the Green & White.

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Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum is currently displaying two digital media works created by Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew: White Shame (1992) and Speaking the Language of Spiders (1997).

Born in the Peace River district of mixed Cree and French Canadian descent in 1958, Ahasiw was an early innovator in digital media. Some of his work as an artist and administrator was done at the Canada Council and Banff Centre for the Arts, but in the mid-1990s he spent several years in Regina, and was a founding member and first production manager for Neutral Ground’s digital media facility, which is now known as SOIL Media Art and Technology.

I spoke several times with Ahasiw about his work when he lived in Regina, and also remember him doing some live performance with Michael Toppings when he lived here too (some of you may remember The House Project Toppings did in 2000 when he took an existing house near General Hospital and turned it into a text-based art work).

In the late 1990s Ahasiw left Regina, and in 2006 he passed away while living in Montreal. In addition to the two digital media works noted above, Ghostkeeper also features works by Cheryl L’hirondelle, Adrian Stimson and Archer Pechawis and Sheila Urbanoski done in response to Ahasiw’s projects.

The show runs until Aug. 28, and there’s a reception at Neutral Ground (203-1856 Scarth) on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m.

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Et Tu, Ray?

From testimony that’s been emerging at the Mike Duffy trial in Ottawa it seems that everyone and their dog in the Prime Minister’s Office knew of the plan that was hatched whereby former chief of staff Nigel Wright would cut a check for $90,000 from his own bank account to cover the disgraced senator’s improperly claimed living and personal expenses.

Here’s a Toronto Star report that lists a good dozen or so high-profile Conservatives who either participated in or were aware of the plan which was devised to short-circuit an audit that was underway into Duffy’s expense claims and deflect blame away from the Conservatives and the PMO for first appointing Duffy as a senator, and then using him as a pitchman for the party at numerous events across the country on the public dime.

Current chief of staff Ray Novak is one of the aforementioned Conservatives who was apparently in the loop. He’s been described as Stephen Harper’s closest friend and ally, and in denying that Novak knew anything about the Wright payment, Tory campaign spokesman Kory Teneycke has previously said, “it’s unfathomable that Ray would be aware of a payment … and not tell the prime minister.”

Yet, according the Wonderland world that the Conservative hierarchy inhabits, that’s apparently what happened. Novak did know, and he, along with dozens of other PMO staffers and upper echelon Conservatives, didn’t tell the prime minister.

Writing in the National Post yesterday, Andrew Coyne penned this very moving and heart-felt column sympathizing with Stephen Harper at the extreme sense of betrayal and confusion he must be feeling now that it is emerging that he was the victim of a party-wide conspiracy to keep the whole sordid truth of l’Affaire Duffy from his delicate ears. Truly, it is one of the more Shakespearean moments in Canadian political history, and our sympathy and condolences also go out to the prime minister at this time.

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Testament Of Youth

This British movie came out last year. It’s set in the WWI era and was neatly timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War. It’s a biopic of sorts based on a memoir of the same name by British writer Vera Brittain.

Brittain’s book was published in 1933 and recalls how her dream of studying English Literature with her fiance Roland Leighton at Oxford was derailed by the start of the war and the terrible hardship that followed.

Testament of Youth screens at RPL Theatre Thursday Aug. 20 and Saturday Aug. 22 at 7 p.m., and Friday Aug. 21 and Sunday Aug. 23 at 9 p.m. Here’s the trailer

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Cinema Under The Stars

As of Tuesday at supper time, the weather forecast for Wednesday evening was looking pretty good so there should be a good turnout tonight for the final screening in Regina Downtown’s 2015 Cinema Under the Stars film series.

After all the excitement around Jurassic World earlier this summer, the film that’s screening tonight is the original Steven Spielberg concoction Jurassic Park.

Dusk is arriving ever earlier these days, so the first dinosaur roar should sound around 8:30 p.m. As usual, there will be some pre-show fun for people who show up early to grab a good spot.

To get everyone in the mood, here’s the trailer for the 1993 movie which is based on a book by Michael Crichton

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Family Fun Day

sports Hall of FameHere’s a heads up about an event the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is hosting on Saturday, Aug. 22. The event runs from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and includes sports-themed games and crafts, a multi-sport simulator and a BBQ.

You’ll also have the opportunity, of course, to tour the SSHF. Chalk, Wheat and Diamonds: Saskatchewan ‘Ball is the current feature exhibit (photo above), and there’s also displays related to various athletes, teams and builders who have been inducted into the SSHF over the years.

Admission is $5 per person, or $10 per family (two adults, two children). And more information can be found on the Sask Sports Hall of Fame website.

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Archaeology Field Day

Over the last three months or so we’ve done a couple of articles where we’ve delved into the disciplines of paleontology and zoology. One was an article on dinosaurs that coincided with the release of Jurassic World in early June, while the other was tied to an exhibition on the evolutionary origins of pollination that’s still got a couple of weeks to run at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

With both articles we talked to scientists who are on staff at the RSM and its affiliate facility the T-Rex Discovery Centre in Eastend. On Tuesday, Aug. 18 some of those scientists, plus a few others in areas such as archaeology and biology, will be on hand for this family-friendly event where people can learn more about the work that gets done at the RSM.

The field day runs from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesday, and admission is by donation. You can find out more by visiting the RSM website.

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Sunday Matinee: Sunset Boulevard

Sunset BoulevardBilly Wilder’s black comedy/film noir/drama Sunset Boulevard turned 65 this week.

This is a brilliant film that looks at the darker side of Hollywood and fame. The movie opens with William Holden floating in a swimming pool. Holden then narrates the events leading up to his death.

Holden is a down on his luck screenwriter who is trying to sell a script to Paramount Studios. It’s turned down and while Holden is fleeing some people who want to repossess his car, he ends up at the mansion of former silent screen star Norma Desmond (brilliantly portrayed by Gloria Swanson).
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Live Cinema Season

When I was in high school, it was common practice to take one Shakespeare play each year as part of English class. I don’t think Julius Caesar was the play typically taught in grade 10, but my English teacher decided to shake things up that year, so that’s the one we studied.

It was written in 1599, and was drawn from Roman history, with the title character being a successful general who expanded the reach of the republic to what is now France and German in the Gallic Wars (c. 51 B.C.E.). Following his return, he triumphed in a civil war and ruled Rome as a dictator until his assassination in 44 B.C.E.

This afternoon at Central Library Theatre there’s a broadcast of Julius Caesar as part of the Globe on Screen series from London. Curtain is at 2 p.m., and tickets are Adults $15, Seniors $12, Students $10.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the production

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Regina Thunder Vs. Winnipeg Rifles

Regina ThunderJust like the Saskatchewan Roughriders did earlier this season, the Regina Thunder kick off their Prairie Football Conference schedule with two straight games at home. Tonight at 7 p.m., the Thunder will take to the turf at Mosaic Stadium to play the Winnipeg Rifles. And following that tilt, the Thunder will host the Edmonton Wildcats at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday Aug. 23 at 1 p.m.

Unlike the Riders, though, I don’t think the Thunder will find themselves sitting at 0W-2L at the conclusion of the home stand. In fact, if I was a betting man, they’ll probably be at 2W-0L.

The Riders (and their fans) had high hopes heading into 2015 too, of course, but all that more or less unravelled when Darian Durant went down with a season-ending Achilles tendon injury just before the end of the first half in in the home opener against Winnipeg.

The Thunder lost a QB to injury last year too. That was Jaeden Marwick, and he’s back with the team again this year. In a training camp profile that appeared in the Leader-Post in late July, Thunder head coach Scott MacAulay said he was very satisfied with the quality of the team’s recruits this year, and credited the solid minor league and high school football programs in Regina for producing a lot of quality players.

That talent, and depth, will likely spell bad news for most Thunder opponents this year. As always, of course, the Saskatoon Hilltops will prove a stiff test. And year-to-year, there’s usually another PFC team or two that qualifies as a contender. But come playoff time, the Thunder should be in a position to host one of the two semi-finals.

You can find out more about the team on the Regina Thunder website. 

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Brit Floyd

Billed as the world’s greatest Pink Floyd tribute act, Brit Floyd is in town on Tuesday Aug. 18 to play a show at Conexus Arts Centre. I don’t imagine the band Pink Floyd needs any introduction to blog readers, and judging by the Brit Floyd website this tribute act pulls out all the stops to capture the musical quality and spectacle of Pink Floyd show when the band was in its heyday.

The Brit Floyd show goes at Conexus at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and tickets range from $41.50 to $71.50. To give you a taste here’s video from 2011 of the group performing “Mother”

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Market Under The Stars

To grab the freshest produce and tastiest baking at the regular Regina Farmers’ Market you have to be a bit of an early riser as the markets on Wednesday and Saturday open at 9 a.m.

If you’re not an early riser, or work or other commitments preclude you from being in the downtown at that time on those days, you’re SOFM.

Tonight, though, you have a chance to scoop some goodies at this evening Regina Farmers’ Market. It’s held in the same place on City Square Plaza from 4 to 9 p.m. In addition to the regular stuff, there will be other activities such as yoga and salsa dancing going on, plus an eating contest of some description.

The Regina band Coldest Night of the Year will also do a set from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. If you’re downtown earlier, Dagan Harding will be on the same stage from noon to 1 p.m.

After tonight, there’s one final Market Under the Stars on Aug. 27. The musical act that night will be Danny Olliver, and Colter Wall will be doing a set at noon. All four shows are presented as part of the Regina Downtown Summer Concert Series.

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Election 2015: Trudeau’s In The Market For Some Votes

Justin Trudeau, leader of the third-place Liberal Party, was at the Regina Farmers’ Market today, pressing palms and kissing babies (literally).

Unlike certain other party leaders <cough>StephenHarper</cough> Trudeau walked among a crowd of completely un-vetted market-goers some of whom were not even Liberal party loyalists. He then stopped in the shade of one of the plaza’s massive red light standards and, after a prepared speech which took shots at both reigning prime minister Harper and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, Trudeau took questions from the media (who were sweltering in 30° heat).

Above is a recording of the event. Press questions start at the 12:48 mark.  He’s asked about Bill C-51 and whether he misread the public in supporting it (14:32); what he’ll do to address poverty in aboriginal communities (16:09); Nigel Wright’s testimony in the Duffy trial (18:49); what his party will do for agriculture (20:02); how the economic downturn has affected his platform (22:17); his feelings about First Nations’ education in Canada (24;48); and, if there is anything his party can do to soften the economic blow from the devaluation of the Chinese currency (26:17).

Below the fold, more pics from Trudeau’s visit.

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B-25 Bomber Visits Regina

Photo from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Photo from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

If you’re an aviation or military history buff, you’ll want to swing by the Regina Flying Club this weekend to see a WWII era medium-range B-25 bomber that will be in town. The bomber is part of an historic aircraft collection housed in Minnesota.

If you visit the Minnesota Commemorative Air Force websiteyou’ll see that the B-25 played an important role in WWII tied to what’s known as the Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942. The raid came a little over four months after Pearl Harbour, and targeted Tokyo and other locations on Honshu Island.

Sixteen bombers were involved, and after taking off from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier (photo above) and attacking their targets, the plan called for them to land in China which was then under Japanese occupation. All the aircraft were subsequently lost, resulting in the death and capture of around 10 airmen, although 14 of the crews were able to escape and safely return to American bases.

While the raid had little military impact on Japan, it had significant symbolic value, both as retaliation for Pearl Harbour, and as a demonstration of Japan’s vulnerability to American counterattack.

The B-25 bomber will be at the Regina Flying Club on Saturday Aug. 15 and Sunday Aug. 16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours of the aircraft will be offered, and a demonstration flight is planned over Regina for Saturday afternoon.

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Old Man Luedecke

With two Juno Awards to his credit, Old Man Luedecke has been a force on the Canadian folk/bluegrass scene since he released his first album in 2003. He hails from Nova Scotia, and on Thursday Aug. 13 he’ll be in town to play a show at the Artful Dodger (1651 11th Ave.)

The show’s part of a national tour he’s on to promote his latest album Domestic Eccentric which was released on July 24. To give you a taste of his new album, here’s the video for the first single “The Early Days”


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Baseball Canada 21U Boys Championship

In June, 30 Canadian-born players were taken in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. That’s up from 17 in 2014. At the major league level, meanwhile, 20 players with Canadian roots currently suit up for the 30 teams, and a whole pile more are in the minor league system.

Those numbers pale in comparison with traditional baseball hotbeds such as the United States, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Still, Canada does have a decent presence on the diamonds — and we’re the two-time gold medal champs in baseball at the Pan-Am Games, with the latest triumph coming against the U.S. in a wacky extra inning game in Toronto on July 19.

From Aug. 13-17, some possible future stars of the game will be on display in Regina when the city hosts Baseball Canada’s 21 and under Boys Championship. All the action will be taking place at Optimist Baseball Park which is located on Dewdney Ave. West.

For more on the tournament visit the Baseball Canada website.

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Sunday Matinee: Night And The City

Night and the CityCriterion has just released Night and the City on Blu ray. The brilliant 1950 Jules Dassin movie not the mediocre Robert De Niro ’92 remake.

I love this movie, it’s the perfect example of film noir. It’s dark, gritty, brilliant photographed and brutal. It follows a two-bit hustler named Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark). Harry is always trying come up with a better score. The movie is set in London as Harry tries to muscle into the wrestling racket.

Harry’s girl Mary (Gene Tierney) is good and honest. The rest of Harry’s friends are another story. Harry goes to nightclub owner Phil (Francis L. Sullivan) and Phil’s wife Helen (Googie Withers) for money so he can set up his own wrestling venue.
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Friends With Benefits

This three-day event is billed as a Sasky Music Showcase. It goes Aug. 13-15 at the Exchange with doors at 7 p.m. and the first band hitting the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 advance, and $15 at the door.

Here’s the line-up with bands listed from closing act through to opening act:

Thursday is billed as a Roots, Singer/Songwriter, Acoustic & Indie Folk Night. Shows will alternate between The SCES Club and Exchange with Hello, Lady; Keiffer McLean; Sweet Saturday; Amy McDade; The Empire Associates; Annora; The Ben Winoski Project; Kendal; The Stillhouse Poets and Ava Wild all performing.

Friday is billed as a Rock ‘N’ Roll and Alternative Rock Night with shows at the Exchange only featuring Whiskey Manner; Bad Comrade; Sleeping Suns; Kinder Scout; Ryan Hicks; Below The Tempest; Commonwealth and Matt Polsfut.

Saturday is billed as a Metal and Heavy Rock Night (with some acoustic/blues flavours to kick it off). Shows are at the Exchange only and feature Newera; Maxstone; Circles & Revolution; Magnetic; Braindead Romeo; Whiteboy Slim; Tyler Gilbert and Adam Holmes.

You can find more information on the Exchange website. To close here’s the video for Whiskey Manner’s tune “Just Dance”

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Verb Has Conjugated Its Last Issue

Verb DoneRumours have been circulating for awhile now, but the publishers of Verb have finally confirmed on their website that the magazine that burst on the Saskatoon scene with such fanfare seven years ago, and later added a Regina edition with equal fanfare, has ceased publication.

You can read their poignant farewell message to their readers, advertisers and contributors here.

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The Regina Folk Festival is on this weekend, of course. But if your musical taste veers more to the metal side of the spectrum, there’s a band in town to play a show at the Exchange Sunday night that might interest you.

Northlane hails from Australia, so the five-piece is a long way from home and would probably appreciate a good turnout. The band is touring in support of its latest album Node which was released on July 24.

Like Moths to Flames, In Hearts Wake, Oceans Ate Alaska and Between Now and Then are on the bill at the Exchange as well. Doors are at 7 p.m. on Sunday, and tickets are $20 Advance and $25 door. To close, here’s the video for the first single off Northlane’s new album called “Obelisk”

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