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Meet Megan Roth

You’ll see a new byline in Prairie Dog and on Dog Blog for the next little while! Megan Roth, a journalism student at SAIT, has joined our editorial department (title: Intrepid Intern) and will be writing all kinds of stuff for the next few weeks (stuff specifics TBA).

To get to know Megan better, we asked her to interview herself in the third person. She has graciously allowed this nonsense to be posted online.

Let’s start with something easy. What is your name, age and where you are from?

I’m Megan Roth, I am 25 and I’m from everywhere but most recently Calgary by way of Moose Jaw.

Why did you come to Prairie Dog for your practicum?

Well, the idea that I wouldn’t have to pay extra rent was quite appealing as I’m staying with my parents. I also enjoyed reading it while I was in high school and thought I could probably do what I saw there too.

Why did you decide to become a journalist?

I like to attribute it to wanting to be like Lois Lane and Clark Kent as a kid, and later like Peter Parker. So basically I just wanted to be a superhero.

Is it true that you wore a Captain America sweater into the office this morning?

Yes I did. It was cold and snowy out when I left home, and I’m the wonderfully smart person who forgot her actual jacket in Calgary. I have no regrets though. I love Cap. It’s the closest I can come in everyday life to being a superhero.

If you weren’t a journalist or a writer of any sort, what would you be doing?

I’d be a costume designer. Put my cosplay skills to some actual use.

What do you like to do in your free time?

If I have free time, I like to read — even though I am technically an adult I do still enjoy young adult literature, play board games, design costumes for cosplay, and play Dungeons and Dragons. If I have time in the summer I also like to scuba dive.

What made you a nerd, you nerd?

Harry Potter when I was 11. That, even more than watching X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons was my first real foray into nerdom. Harry Potter showed me true fandom.

How do you think you’ll fit in at Prairie Dog?

I don’t see how it’s going to work; the people here say they hate nerds. But I’ll give it a try.

Do you have a question for Megan? Ask it in the comments below! She probably won’t answer because she’s very busy, but you never know. Maybe if you ask reeeeeally nice.

Comments: 4

Daily Aggregation: Another Avengers Clip

daily-aggregation-21. HAPPY SPRING! It’s the spring equinox! Days are getting longer! Sunrise today was 7:02 a.m, sunset will be 7:11 p.m. and the total length of the day is a brain-exploding 12 hours, nine minutes and 42 seconds. Wooooo! Let’s all sacrifice animals and dance naked and get weird.

2. THE SASKATCHEWAN BUDGET COULD’VE BEEN A LOT TOUGHER But outgoing Finance Minister Ken Kravetz says “it’s an election year, do we look like we’re crazy?” “let’s allow the people of Saskatchewan to continue growing this province.”

3. ALSO, THE SASKATCHEWAN BUDGET IGNORED CLIMATE CHANGE Hey, why worry about the number one issue threatening the future of humanity *blows noisemaker*

4. A FLORIDA CIVIL SERVANT WAS FORCED TO GET A MENTAL HEALTH EXAMINATION BECAUSE HE USED THE PHRASE “CLIMATE CHANGE” You can’t make this stuff up.

5. HOW ABOUT THAT CRTC RULING? Huh? How about it? Basic cable for $25, pick and choose your channels, no more of this socialist nonsense where the rich, mighty, popular channels have to subsidize the weak and worthless networks, ha ha ha!

6. 100 DEAD IN ATTACKS ON MOSQUES So horrible. Islamic State creeps don’t kill anyone like they kill Muslims. Meanwhile, Canadian planes did some bombing, which may or may not be helpful. Bombing doesn’t have the best track record but, shrug.

7. ANOTHER RCMP OFFICER CONVICTED OF PERJURY IN THE DIEZANSKI CASE Good.

8. SOMEBODY ABUSED A CAT IN REGINA Story here. Vets have operated and it sounds like they’re cautiously optimistic, while the Humane Society is asking the public for help to track down the budding psychopath who’s responsible.

9. AUSTRALIAN GETS DRUNK, FREEZES FINGERS Never trust an Australian, they’re wacky. *Stink-eye at L-P’s Emma Graney*.

LOOK, IT’S ANOTHER AGE OF ULTRON CLIP New scenes! New smashing! So Exciting!

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Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

A few years ago, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet toured a production based on Lewis Carroll’s best-known literary creation that I caught at Conexus Arts Centre. It featured a number of familiar characters from the story, and was suitably surreal.

On Sunday March 22, London’s Royal Ballet is presenting its own interpretation of Carroll’s tale as choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. It’s at the RPL Film Theatre, so needless to say it’s not a live production. Instead, it’s a broadcast of a performance of the ballet from London.

The broadcast is Sunday at 2 p.m., and tickets are Adults $15, Seniors $12 and Students $10. To give you a taste of what to expect here’s a LRB trailer.

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Campus Art Happening

Photo Credit: Eagleclaw Thom, courtesy the MacKenzie Art Gallery and Adrian Stimson

Photo Credit: Eagleclaw Thom, courtesy the MacKenzie Art Gallery and Adrian Stimson

As part of a residency at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in association with the David Garneau and Michelle LaVallee-curated exhibition Moving Forward, Never ForgettingSaskatoon-artist Adrian Stimson is doing a durational performance called “Silent Witness” at the University of Regina on March 19-20.

As one of two contributions to the MacKenzie show, which addresses various impacts of colonization on prairie First Nations and Metis people, Stimson has an installation referencing his father’s experience at the Old Sun residential school in Alberta.

For this performance, which goes Thursday at the Riddell Centre “crush space” from noon to 4 p.m. and Friday at RC 050 from 11:30 a.m.-noon., Stimson is dressed in ceremonial clothes worn by his late father. A chair sits opposite him for anyone who wishes to sit for a time and participate in the performance. On the wall behind Stimson is a photo of the Old Sun residential school.

On Friday as well, Stimson will give an Art for Lunch talk at RC050 from noon to 1 p.m.

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RFF 2015 Line-up Announced

RFF2015There’s an official press conference scheduled for later this morning, but here’s a breakdown on some of the more prominent acts who will be gracing the stage at the 2015 Regina Folk Festival which goes August 7-9 in Victoria Park.

Sinead O’Connor needs no introduction, presumably. Likewise with Blue Rodeo and The Sheepdogs. I wasn’t familiar with Vance Joy, but apparently he’s a 27-year-old singer-songwriter out of Australia.

Bahamas played the main stage in 2013, and he’s back again this year. Basia Bulat has played the festival before. And since then she’s grabbed a second Polaris Prize shortlist nomination for her 2013 album Tall Tall Shadow, which also received a 2014 Juno nomination in the Adult Alternative Album category.

Then there’s Jenny Lewis. She leapt out on the list of headliners for editor Steve. Last July, he reviewed her album The Voyager and gave it four dogs out of five. So he’ll be pumped to see her perform.

Aside from the Sheepdogs, Andy Shauf, Jeffery Straker, the Karpinka Brothers and Pile of Bones Brass Band are Saskatchewan acts who are getting some RFF love this year. And George Leach is playing too. He’s a B.C.-based blues/rock artist who received a Juno for Aboriginal Album of the Year in 2014, and followed that up with a performance at the opening ceremonies for the North American Indigenous Games that were held in Regina last July.

You can find out more on the artists, and related ticket information for the festival, on the RFF website.

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Mr. Turner

Here’s a heads up about a movie that’s screening next week at the RPL Film Theatre. It didn’t get much love at the 2015 Oscars, outside of being nominated for Best Music-Original Score, but Timothy Spall won Best Actor at Cannes 2014 for his portrayal of the famous British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851).

Directed by Mike Leigh, Mr. Turner focuses on the last 25 years of the artist’s turbulent life. While a true innovator as a landscape painter, who used light to express the spiritual in his subjects, Turner became increasingly eccentric as he grew older and was a handful for his family, peers and patrons to deal with.

Mr. Turner screens Thursday March 26 and Saturday March 28 at 6:30 p.m. and Friday March 27 and Sunday March 29 at 9 p.m. Here’s the trailer

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Saskatchewan Budget 2015-16

Geese(WascanaLake)I snapped the above pic while walking to the Legislature on Tuesday to pick up an embargoed copy of the 2015-16 Saskatchewan budget. After giving the backgrounder documents a read, it occurred to me that it was an appropriate image to describe the province’s current economic situation.

Due to a precipitous drop in oil (from $115 a barrel in June to well south of $55 a barrel since November, resulting in a $660 million hit to government revenues), and sluggish prices in the resource and commodity sector in general, Saskatchewan’s economy is on “thinner ice” than it’s been for a number of years.

Would Finance Minister Ken Krawetz and his government manage to navigate the course safely? Or would the rot be too great, causing the province to break through the ice and plunge into the frigid waters of economic oblivion?

Okay, maybe that’s a little melodramatic. But with the Harper Conservatives having postponed the federal budget until at least April, Alberta facing a projected $6 billion shortfall in a $45 billion budget, and the Saskatchewan government having talked tough in the pre-budget period about freezing non-essential spending and hiring and zero percent increases for its funding partners, plenty of people were nervous heading into budget day.

Keeping Saskatchewan Strong is the tag the government opted for as a budget theme. And if its numbers are to be believed, it has managed, like the Canada geese above, to stave off disaster. Of course, with the amount of volatility in the economy these days, that’s a big “if”.

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Enigma Variations

Presented as part of the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks Concert series, Enigma Variations goes at Conexus Arts Centre on Saturday March 21 at 8 p.m.

There are four works by two composers on the program, and special guest soloist is RSO viola player Jonathan Ward. The program title is derived from English composer Edward Elgar’s 1898-99 work Enigma Variations which presents 14 versions on an original theme — with each version meant to represent the unique character of a friend in Elgar’s social circle.

The RSO will also perform Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture, along with two compositions by Vaughan-Williams (Fantasia On Greensleeves and Flos Campi). Curtain is at 8 p.m., and ticket information can be obtained by visiting the RSO website.

To give you a taste of Elgar’s title work here’s a short excerpt as performed by the Berlin Philharmonic:

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Friendly Update, City Hall: Extra Debt For Stadium, For REAL

This Week at City HallWe have a fixed-price contract in place for the construction of the stadium, a set-in-stone date for it to open and if anything deviates from that plan it’s all on the private contractor’s head. We have scientific estimates for the costs of running and maintaining the facility, a crack corporate team to operate the place and a sensibly crafted payment scheme to handle all the debt we’re taking on so it won’t overtax the public.

What could possibly go wrong?

No idea. Unforeseen reversals of fortune are, by their nature, unforeseeable.

But, if some future public accounts auditor (who’s probably in high school right now) is going to uncover any unpleasant surprises associated with the stadium, I’m willing to bet they’ll have snuck into the project via a decision a little like the one Regina city council will be considering Monday night.

Because, remember how we were given a careful accounting of how much debt will be required to cover the costs of construction and operation of the stadium? It’s supposed to be a little over $200 million to be paid off over 31.5 years.

Well that number is about to creep up by $4 million on Monday.

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Life In 2167

Don’t feel like calling in sick tomorrow because you are green to the gills? Here is an alternative way to spend your evening without all that fun St. Paddy’s unhealthiness:

Canada 300 is an ambitious travelling theatre project that questions what Canada will be like 150 years from now through nine short plays and audience dialogue. Regina is the halfway point of twenty locations, as it travels from the West including Yukon and NWT, and goes east to Charlottetown where it was conceived. The audience chooses six of the nine plays and one of the official languages. Last night’s performance was by invite only but tonight’s is open to the public. It really was a multicultural event.

The plays were written by acclaimed playwrights and performed by accomplished actors. If you are familiar with Canadian theatre you will recognize some of the names. The concept is to open up dialogue among Canadians as to where we were in the last 150 years and where we are going in the next 150 years. The twenty national performances will culminate in a final dialogue in Charlottetown with 150 participants invited from across the country.

My doom and gloom prophesies that we won’t have an earth to live on in 150 years was largely ignored by a bright beautiful future where water is still drinkable and everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya. (I don’t think I will be invited to Charlottetown.) I exaggerate so go check it out for yourself. Canada 300 plays at The Artesian tonight at 6:30 pm. The cost is free.

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When The Lights Go Down Tour

If you like contemporary country music, there’s a solid triple bill going down at Casino Regina Show Lounge on Saturday March 21. The headline act is Chad Brownlee, while Jess Moskaluke and Bobby Wills will also perform.

I don’t know a ton about the two guys, but for Moskaluke it will be a homecoming of sorts since she hails from Langenburg. Last September, she received the nod for top female performer at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Edmonton on the strength of her debut full-length album Light Up The Night.

Again, the concert goes at Casino Regina on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30/$37. To close, here’s the video for the most recent single off Moskaluke’s album called “Used”:

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Friendly Update, City Hall: Fantastic Tales From The Southeast Lands

This Week at City HallWell… it’s about friggin’ time.

Back in the fourth quarter of 2012, city administration was supposed to bring forward a report about what to do with the Southeast Lands. Should we sell them off? Should we partner with someone to develop housing there? Should we build some new neighbourhoods there ourselves?

And we finally got an answer to those questions at an executive committee meeting on Wednesday. That would be in the first quarter of 2015. So… seeing as it’s not three whole years late, I’ll consider it basically on-schedule.

Good thing absolutely nothing particularly interesting to do with housing happened while we were waiting

Phew!

For those wondering where exactly in the schedule we are, exec committee’s Wednesday decision edges us closer to the right-hand end of this infographic:

theshaft

I put that graphic together back in 2012 (based it off a city-made graphic) when council was deciding whether or not to buy the Southeast Lands and as you can clearly see, we’re still in the shuffling money around part of The Shaft and haven’t quite gotten to that point in the future where all that land deal stuff is forgotten.

You remember that land deal, right? No? Well, if you need a refresher there’s this post here, “Is It Just Me Or Is There Some Weaselry Afoot?“, or you can carry on past the jump…

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Sask. Sampler

This event’s been held at Bushwakker Brew Pub in the Warehouse District for a few years now, and for me it qualifies as a sign that spring is on the way and that summer will be along at some point too.

Why?

Because it’s co-hosted by the people in charge of the Ness Creek, Gateway and Regina Folk Festivals, and the goal is to audition some Saskatchewan musical talent for guest spots at the three festivals. Ness Creek runs near Big River in north-central Saskatchewan July 16-19, while the Gateway Festival goes at Bengough on July 24-25, and the Regina Folk Festival will be in Victoria Park in downtown Regina on Aug. 7-9.

Sask. Sampler 2015 will be held on Saturday, March 21 and the musicians/bands on the bill include Colter Wall, Friends of Foes, Danny Olliver, Bears in Hazenmore, Parab Poet and the Hip Hop Hippies and Veronique Poulin. Things get going at 7:30 p.m. at Bushwakker and tickets are $10.

To set the stage, here’s Bears In Hazenmore performing their song “Sarajevo”

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Weekly Reckoning: Viral Edition

weekly-reckoningViral! Virality! Viralness…ness. It’s all the rage these days, because when you catch that viral fever, it’s a fever of rage! Rage, rage against the bloggers who abuse their doulas or whatever. Let’s look at some stories.

1. DO NOT LEAVE GROWNUPS ALONE WITH CHILDREN. CLEARLY ADULT ARE DEMENTED Well, at least the demented ones are. Here’s a horrific tale of Arkansas State Representative Justin Harris, who adopted children and kept them under surveillance because they were “possessed by demons and could communicate telepathically.” Imagine being a grown-up human being who believes that kind of nonsense and, more crucially, acts on it. Reader, are you such a person? Then you are crazy. End of story. Have this sandwich because it’s made of lithium.

2. HEY, SPEAKING OF CRAZY Benjamin Netanyahu, our friend in the Levant, has taken to describing his political opponents as part of a leftist conspiracy. Okay, he’s not crazy; he’s just facing a multitude of problems coupled with a divided right-wing, and he’s amping up the rhetoric to pull in some eyeballs and earholes and unite his base.

3. JOBS R STILL US Employment in this province isn’t what it used to be, but we’ve still got the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Pretty good for a place that was once an inland sea full of giant crocodiles.

4. LIFE IMITATES ART WHICH IS LIFE Robert Durst, the subject of the HBO true-crime documentary series The Jinx, has been arrested in connection with the 2000 murder of Susan Berman. The conclusion to the series airs tonight, which is timing you can’t buy.

5. ONE LESS TOTO BASSIST TO HANG OUT AND BE COOL WITH Like it or not, everyone you know and love is going to die, including you. That’s the topper to your endless and aimless days: one day you’re standing in line at the Milky Way or driving down to Phoenix for some reason, the next you’re in a box and blissfully unaware of all the people staring down at you. Probably for the best. Famous people die too, which seems strange, but every obituary brings us into brief contact with the truth of our lives, which is that it ends. Anyway, Mike Porcaro, bass player for Toto, died at 59 of ALS.

 

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Sunday Matinee: History Of Comic Book Movies Part 8

X-menThis is the last part of the History of Comic Book Movies as we dive right in to the current onslaught of movies. Throughout the 1990’s Marvel had sold the film rights to several of their comic properties, mostly all their bigger, more marketable characters and a lot of the money was used to get Marvel out of bankruptcy. Not much was done with them until 2000 when Bryan Singer’s X-Men came along and really kick-started Hollywood’s love affair with super-hero movies.

X-Men introduced Marvel’s mighty mutants to the big screen. The X-Men had always been one of Marvel’s best selling titles and while translating them to film took some tweaking because budget and story constraints, the over all effect was quite positive. The film starred Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Jannsen and introduced Hugh Jackman to American audiences. Jackman was cast at the last minute as Wolverine after the original actor cast, Dougray Scott, had to drop out after the film had already started shooting. This was also the film that would start the Stan Lee cameo. It wasn’t the biggest movie of 2000 but it showed other studios that there was still life in superhero movies.

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St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is on Tuesday this year, which kind of presents a problem from a celebration perspective considering that the work week still has three days to run. At Prairie Dog it will be an even bigger challenge as we’ll be doing production on our March 19 issue that day.

Still, for those who are intent on celebrating here’s some Celtic-themed entertainment options to consider:

Tuesday 17

ST. PADDY’S DAY PARTY with Big Irish Christopher Matchett, Shannon’s Dream, Regina Pipe Band, Prairie Gael Dancers and Pile of Bones Brass Band at O’Hanlon’s, with doors at 9:30 a.m.

ST. PADDY’S DAY JAM hosted by the Dustin Ritter Band at Lancaster Taphouse, 6 p.m.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY with Squeeze of Scotch, Prairie Gael School of Irish Dance, Regina Police Pipe and Drums and more at Bushwakker. $5 cover after 5 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with John Wort Hannam at Artful Dodger, 8 p.m. $15.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY BASH with Johnny McCuaig Band and the Tilted Kilts at McNally’s Tavern.

SASKIA & DARRELL at Wesley United Church (3919 Hillsdale), 7 p.m. $15.

Wednesday 18

BILLARNEY at Bushwakker, 9 p.m.

Thursday 19

THE REAL MCKENZIES with the Isotopes at McNally’s Tavern. $15.

To get your quaffing muscles loosened up, here’s a video for the Real McKenzie’s 2011 tune “Drink Some More”

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The Last Legal Rally?

Terrorists are the Babadook of Canadian politics that lies underneath our collective beds, hides in closets, (get it? The closet reference?), and watches us from the bushes through the windows. We need fear. We need to know that we matter.

We are wetting the bed to cock-block the terrorists that will otherwise penetrate us. The Harper Stain will be hard to get rid of. There is no turning of the mattress or letting it air this time.

I think this bill will pass. I think this is the last rally of freedom fighters before they are deemed terrorists. Free speech and public rallies are now no longer an option. And journalism is at stake too. Here are some pics of people who care from the Bill-C51 rally today.

Emmalyn rocking the fist.

Emmalyn rocking the fist.

Bill Clary

Bill Clary

Not terrorists.

Oh! Canada.

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Celebrate The Flag

Canadian_Red_Ensign_1957-1965.svgOn Feb. 15 Canada marked the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the familiar red maple leaf as the Canadian flag. There was considerable controversy at the time, with the federal Progressive Conservatives under John Diefenbaker reluctant to replace the existing Canadian Red Ensign (pictured) with its strong symbolic link to the British Commonwealth. But the Liberal government under Lester Pearson felt that with the country’s centennial looming in 1967, the time was ripe for Canada to have its own distinct flag.

In the run-up to the 50th anniversary, the current federal government was criticized for not doing enough to commemorate the milestone — ostensibly because it was initiated by a Liberal government, and in today’s hyper partisan political climate only the accomplishments of Conservative governments are worth noting.

At Saskatchewan’s Government House, though, a special exhibition has been created exploring the flag and its history over the last 50 years. It’s a family-friendly endeavour with an interactive station where you can design your own flag, a video booth where you can record your own thoughts and memories of the flag, and other activities.

Celebrate the Flag will run at Government House (4607 Dewdney Ave.)  until Sept. 20.

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Daily Aggregation: FAK Returns!

daily-aggregation-21. A CROSS-COUNTRY NEWS JAMBOREE Quebec has the measles, former Conservative MP Vic Toews might have a scandal, a federal Conservative is acting all retro witch-hunty but instead of bashing commies she’s flinging McCarthy-style slime at Muslims and the RCMP are going after the Ontario Provincial Police Association for a bunch of alleged crooked-ass shit. In unrelated news science has discovered fossils of ancient human-sized lobster-like things.

2. HOUSE PRICES ARE COMING DOWN Well, there’s a big, hairy hock and a half.

3. UNEMPLOYMENT IS UP IN SASKATCHEWAN The province’s economic tide ebbs. Ebbs, I say. Well technically not me but Stats Canada.

4. SASKATOON ALSO LIKES DESTROYING HERITAGE People in the province are totally nuts. Are the business/libertarian/conservative types that wreck heritage buildings scared there’s socialism in beautiful old bricks?

5. GLOBAL NEWS TSUNAMI Global CO2 emissions stalled last year (!!!), Ikea closes its Russian website because Russia’s gone all bigoty, Germany says it’s not feuding with Greece, I don’t even want to write about this Middle Eastern horror and A PENIS HAS BEEN TRANSPLANTED. Also, Jupiter’s moon Ganymede has an underground ocean which could mean IT’S ALIIIIVE, IT LIIIIIVES.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON KITTY! Jeez I couldn’t even tell you when the last time I put one of these up was. Another Whitworth failure. Classic. Well, let’s get back on the horse.

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Norval Morrisseau

Ruffo_BookLaunch_Feb2015In early February there was a symposium and book launch at First Nations University of Canada tied to the career of First Nations artist Norval Morrisseau. Of Anishinaabe descent, Morrisseau was born on the Sand Point Ojibway reserve near Beardmore, ON in 1931. As a child, he attended a Catholic-run residential school, but through his maternal grandfather, who was a shaman, he learned the traditions and legends of his people.

When Morrisseau was 19, he experienced a life-threatening illness, and through contact with a medicine woman was given the name Copper Thunderbird. When he began making art, he used the signature Copper Thunderbird to identify his work.

Morrisseau was one of the founders of the Woodland School of Art, and was also a member of the Indian Group of Seven. In the fall of 2013 the MacKenzie Art Gallery had an exhibition of work by those artists curated by Michelle LaVallee.

Nicknamed “the Picasso of the North”, Morrisseau’s art celebrated indigenous spiritality and mysticism, along with exploring the divide between First Nations and Canadian culture. At First Nations University in February a book launch was held for Armand Garnet Ruffo’s biography of Morrisseau, who died in Toronto in 2007 at age 76.

In addition to the book (cover image above) an exhibition of Morrisseau’s paintings is on display at the university’s Plain Red Art Gallery until April 10. You can find out more information here.

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