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Election 2015: French Language Debate Provides More Proof Canada Is Awful

cdnelxncircleHarper and Duceppe were able to come to common cause in last night’s French-language debate on CBC. I’m sure it gave both men the warm fuzzies to finally get to be such good chums, even if it was over their joint willingness to court the basest, most racist elements in Canadian society.

The question they linked arms and sang anti-Kumbayas over was on niqabs and whether they should be banned during citizenship ceremonies, with both men arguing the government should be in the business of telling women to dress less modestly than they feel comfortable with if they want to be out in public interfacing with our nation’s bureaucracies.

Apparently Quebec at the political level agrees unanimously with them on this — that’d be the entire national assembly and all the province’s big city mayors. Meanwhile, nationally, polls are saying over 70 per cent of Canadians are also niqab-averse.

Taken all together it just adds fuel to my thesis from Monday’s blog post that Canadians are secretly really horrible people at heart. They don’t want to be seen doing or saying horrible things, so they’ll vote Harper into another majority government because he’ll say and do all the horribleness for them.

Nice work Harper and Duceppe at putting yourselves forward as options for the asshole and coward vote.

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Exciting Goings On In The Sky


Get ready to get your lunar eclipse on on Sunday

The last one happened in 1982, and the next one won’t be until 2033. And it starts Sunday night at 6:11 p.m. Regina time, with the excitement peaking at 8:47 p.m., and things winding up at 11:22 p.m.

Assuming the sky in our area is clear, the treat that awaits involves the eclipse of a so-called supermoon. In its elliptical orbit around Earth, the moon varies in distance from 362,600 km (perigee) to 405,400 km (apogee). Tonight, the moon will be in a perigee position that will make it appear 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than normal.

Throw in the lunar eclipse, when the moon will be occulted by Earth’s shadow except for some sunlight which will filter through the atmosphere and give the eclipsed moon a blood red tinge, and it should be a pretty spectacular show.

You can read more about the supermoon eclipse here, and viewing conditions in Regina in particular here.

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Ron Sexsmith


On Wednesday, Sept. 30 the Regina Folk Festival presents the first concert in its 2015-16 concert series with Canadian singer/song-writer Ron Sexsmith.

Born in St. Catherines, Sexsmith started writing songs as a teenager, and has since gone on to release 14 albums — the most recent being Carousel One in March. While mainstream commercial success has largely eluded Sexsmith,  his reputation as a songwriter is pretty solid, and performers as diverse as Feist, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney and Sheryl Crow have covered his material.

Again, the RFF concert goes next Wednesday. The venue is the Exchange Can-Sask Sound Stage at College and Broad, and the support act is B.C. folk artist Joshua Hyslop. Doors are at 7:30 p.m., and you can visit the RFF website for ticket information.

To close, here’s Sexsmith lyric video for “Can’t Get My Act Together” off Carousel One 

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Capital Pointeless

I don’t know how any Regina journalist who is on the city hall beat doesn’t include, in every story about our generation’s answer to the Chateau Qu’Appelle, some line such as … ‘A Capital Pointe representative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity but who is so full of horseshite that the eyeballs are turning brown …’

Face it. If the people responsible for this project couldn’t scratch together the financing when Saskatchewan’s economy was as hot as the exhaust pipe of a Sabrejet on afterburners, there’s no way this project will be built when oil has fallen from $100 per barrel to $45 a barrel (and falling), the Canadian dollar has gone from par with the U.S. dollar to about 75 cents U.S. (and falling) and Saskatchewan’s economy is free-falling into recession.

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Election 2015: Random, Folksy, Stephen Harper-Themed Sayings

cdnelxncircleI’m writing this thing about the election and I get to this point where I think I need a folksy saying. And I say to myself, “I want something like ‘Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings,’ except it’d be about Harper.”

That line about bells and angels is from Zuzu Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life and it has this great Mad Libs structure: “Every time [blank] a [blank happens]“. It’s been used by comedians for-basically-ever. My personal favourite is from Dylan Moran: “Berlusconi, in Italy, right… He’s so fucking crooked he sleeps on a spiral staircase! So thoroughly corrupt, every time he smiles an angel gets gonorrhoea!”

Anyway, I wanted something like that. Except I’m no Dylan Moran so I was thinking, shit, wouldn’t it be great if there was a random generator for this sort of thing? Then my job would be done. And I googled and googled and there was nothing quite right so I thought, great, I’ll just have to do it myself. And that means I could put my actual work aside for a while and take on this utterly useless exercise.

Here it is for your amusement and/or use in your next article about the election. All you need is a ten-sided die (because everybody has ten-sided dice lying around their house, right? RIGHT?!). Roll it twice, once for each column, and you can make your own folksy sayings like “You know what they say, every time Harper goes up a point in the polls somewhere an oil executive gets a hard-on.”


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Thrash/death metal will be in the spotlight at Riddell Centre the Exchange on Friday Sept. 25 when Boston-based Revocation headlines a show that will also feature three other bands: Cannabis Corpse, Archspire and Black Fast.

Originally founded as Cryptic Warning in 2000,  the four-piece changed their name to Revocation in 2006. The band has five studio albums to their credit, the most recent being Deathless in 2014. In June, the band apparently switched drummers, with Ash Pearson (ex. of 3 Inches of Blood) the new person behind the kit.

As far as the back-up acts go, Cannabis Corpse shouldn’t be confused with veteran metal-meisters Cannibal Corpse. Instead, they’re a marijuana-themed metal band out of Richmond, Virginia that’s been together since 2006.

Again, the show goes on Friday. And to give you a sense of what to expect, here’s a 2014 video for Revocation’s tune “Invidious”

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Culture Days

If you happened to pick up a print copy of our Sept. 17 issue you would have found a multi-page insert outlining all the events that have been organized in Regina for Culture Days which runs from Friday Sept. 25 to Sunday Sept. 27.

Before the weekend even arrives there’s a book launch tonight for a new novel by Regina writer Dianne Warren at Slate Gallery at 7 p.m. The novel is titled Liberty Street, and it’s Warren’s first book since her 2010 novel Cool Water. That book was very well received, winning the 2010 Governor General’s Award for English language fiction and being long-listed for the 2010 Giller Prize. You can find out more about Liberty Street on the HarperCollins website. 

As for Culture Days, your best bet is to find a copy of the insert or visit the Culture Days website.If you do, you’ll find all manner of events from a cinq et sept social gathering for Regina’s cultural community at Creative City Centre on Friday to an Art Walk involving local galleries on Saturday to a Saturday street fair in north central Regina to an urban planning session called My Regina Is which is being held at Creative City Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a few more events that are happening in the next few days, but again it’s only a small sample of everything that will be going on.

Thursday 24

THE ESSENTIAL W.P. KINSELLA Canadian author reads from his new book of short stories. Central Library, 7 p.m.

Friday 25

WRITER IN RESIDENCE Until May, Iranian-Canadian author and academic Nilofar Shidmehr will be at Central Library to consult with established and aspiring writers. Today, there is a reading and welcoming reception from 7-9 p.m. Then on Oct. 25 Shidmehr will conduct a workshop on life writing from 1-4 p.m. Register at

THIRST YOUTH SLAM! Youth-focused spoken word with guest artist Dash Reimer. Creative City Centre, 7:30 p.m. Free. See

Saturday 26

WORDS IN THE PARK With readings by Sharon Butala, Alex Cousins, Greg Simison and Coby Stephenson. Co-presented by Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and Vertigo Series. City Square Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

BLAIR FORNWALD & BRETTE GABEL: RECIPE BOOK OF THE DEAD Three hour performance in which the artists explore their family history and domestic knowledge passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters. (Neutral Ground Gallery, 7-10 p.m.)

Sunday 27

CULTURAL GROOVES: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY IN STORIES & DANCE Readings, dance and food with contributions from Joanne Weber, Martine Noel-Maw, Tara Gereaux and Wambdi Dance. Central Library Theatre, 2-4 p.m. Register at

PRAIRIE PERFORMER SERIES with Brad Mahon (classical guitar) at Knox Met Church, 4 p.m. By donation. See

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Further to anti-abortion bullshit like the “We Need A Law” tour I mentioned in Daily Aggregation … I’ve just learned that Lindy West, a great writer and one of my heroes, created the #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag on Twitter a couple of days ago. It’s function: to let women share the fact that they’ve had an abortion.

Women sharing their stories is important, because when abortion becomes something people are scared to talk about, it’s easy for religious psychos and vicious politicians to attack it, outlaw it and shut down women’s health clinics (which they do because terrorizing people is a way to have power over them, duh). This madness is happening in the United States and religious lunatics are working hard to, step by step, bring the same kind of restrictions to Canada.

Also, some strongly pro-choice people are male humans, and it’s good for us male humans to hear stories about important female experiences that we’re inherently clueless about.

#ShoutYourAbortion was inspired by West’s friend Amelia Bonow, who wrote a powerful Facebook post on her abortion experience:

“Like a year ago I had an abortion at the Planned Parenthood on Madison Ave, and I remember this experience with a near inexpressible level of gratitude … I am telling you this today because the narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about. Plenty of people still believe that on some level – if you are a good woman – abortion is a choice which should be accompanied by some level of sadness, shame or regret. But you know what? I have a good heart and having an abortion made me happy in a totally unqualified way. Why wouldn’t I be happy that I was not forced to become a mother?”

Bonow has described her abortion more fully in this staggeringly good column. Back to Lindy West. Says West:

“The fact that even progressive, outspoken, pro-choice feminists feel the pressure to keep our abortions under wraps — to speak about them only in corners, in murmurs, in private with our closest confidantes – means that opponents of abortion get to define it however suits them best. They can cast those of us who have had abortions as callous monstrosities, and seed fear in anyone who might need one by insisting that the procedure is always traumatic, always painful, always an impossible decision. Well, we’re not, and it’s not.”

You can read more about #ShoutYourAbortion here. On Twitter, West (@thelindywest) said she’s being harassed and getting death threats and I’m sure Bonow is on the receiving end of attacks too. That’s what happens when you stand up to thugs and crazies.

Fortunately, they’re not alone.

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Exciting Goings On In Victoria Park

Mary E. Wrinch "The Fire Ranger's Canoe, Agawa River, Algoma" (1926)

Mary E. Wrinch “The Fire Ranger’s Canoe, Agawa River, Algoma” (1926)

It’s not confined strictly to Victoria Park, but as of today you’ll find seven high quality reproductions of paintings from the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s permanent collection scattered throughout the downtown.

The project, which the gallery undertook with the cooperation of the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, is called {art}outside, and it was organized as part of the Culture Days celebration that goes this weekend from Sept. 25-27.

So keep an eye out when you’re walking around.

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Regina’s Most Eclectic Concert

Homo Monstrous via

Homo Monstrous via

Friday nights almost always consist of eating spray cheese and fuming with anger over internet things – we assume this is the universal course. There’s really no other way to end the week. But sometimes you want to experience an “ungodly mosaic of sounds,” which is exactly what’s being offered at a Tartan Curling Club concert on September 25 starting at 8 p.m.

During an IM interview, promotional sensei Carl Johnson described the show, saying, “In many ways this will be the most abrasive, strange and idiosyncratic show I’ve ever helped put on. It in no way will be conventional/boring.”

This is the alternative musical lineup Regina needs.

The city’s favourite gender carnage glitter-noise band (and there are likely many to choose from) Homo Monstrous is going give audiences something to become existential about. If you haven’t experienced Homo Monstrous, they push the limits of punk rock into performance art territory. Glitter noise, as we all know, is best served with Dawson’s Creek-themed pop rock, which will be provided courtesy of Calgary’s DRI HIEV.

Johnson said, “Homo Monstrous and DRI HIEV are sonically fearless, smash-you-in-the-face-with-noise bands.”

Feverfew, Edmonton’s harp-hop sensation, will be there to lull viewers with their hypnotic vibes. As Johnson described the group, “Feverfew is occultic harp music for people who thought The Wicker Man had a happy ending.”

As if this weren’t enough music, two bands The Steves and The Florals will also be there to showcase their surfy Queen City vibe. “[They will] round out the night with some quick and dirty slacker rock,” Johnson explained.

As the palate cleanser to this oddball buffet of sonic sensations, stick around for the AC/DC-inspired Hells Bells spoken word feature by Andy Beisel (formerly of Slim City Pickers) set to smooth jazz.

Artist/alchemist Colby Richardson will provide ambiance for the evening with live visuals.

The Tartan Curling Club
$10 unless it’s your birthday.
September 25
Doors at 8:05 p.m.
Show at 9:15 p.m.
Show info

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Daily Aggregation: Lethal Amounts Of Things

daily-aggregation-21. BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE WINS THE POLARIS PRIZE Awesome! Especially after the awards got a black eye for being too indie-pop/rock hipster-y.

2. THE CONSERVATIVES LIED ABOUT TERRY FOX The party said Terry Fox’s family supported a Conservative political pledge. Not true. But blahblahblah, say the Conservatives.

3. ON THE FREE MARKET, SOCIOPATHS AND DRUG PRICES Ugh. What was that the NDP was saying about national pharmacare? Sounds better by the minute.


5. MANDRYK SLAMS THE OLD STOCK Good column by Murray at the L-P.

6. WHY THE FUCK IS KIM DAVIS STILL EMPLOYED? She gets out of jail and goes right back to fucking around with same-sex couples. Unbelievable.

7. CAPITOL POINTE, NOW WTF?? Maybe? Meanwhile, the heritage Ted Godwin tower we were all promised would be incorporated into the new design was for sale on Kijiji until the media reported on it. Moral of the story: be careful about trusting developers and Regina politicians. They tend to ruin nice things.

8. ALBERTA NDP STANDS UP TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOARD Interesting story brewing in Edmonton.

9. NO WE DON’T NEED A LAW No link to a news story, just a heads-up that the religious extremists behind the anti-abortion “We Need A Law” campaign have launched a cross-country tour to raise awareness about how “we need a law” to, for example, force pregnant teens to ask the dad who raped them for permission to have an abortion (they don’t phrase it that way but I wanted to make sure their motives are clear). The LifeTOUR comes to Regina’s Harvest City Church on Oct. 9.

From the press release:

“We want to know, from each individual candidate, where they stand […] Do they care if babies are aborted simply because the father prefers a boy? Do they care if late-term babies, who could live outside the womb, are aborted? Do they care about the second victim when a pregnant woman is murdered?”

Nice try, you purveyors of demented, sexually repressed, manipulative, un-Christian, misinformation and lies. Your goal isn’t banning sex-selective abortion. You oppose access to birth control altogether, regard LGBTQ people as mentally ill and think people with different faiths than you should be barred from our country. All those links, by the way, connect to things written by We Need A Law director (and one-time candidate for the anti-LGBT Christian Heritage PartyMike Schouten, whose strain of anti-choice activism is associated with opposing both premarital sexdivorce and, once again, access to birth control. In other words, mega-extreme.

Don’t fall for the almost-reasonable sounding arguments. They’re just the smiling mask on rabid maniacs.

10. 24 HOURS LATER, HOW’S DAVID CAMERON FEEL ABOUT THE WHOLE PIG’S SEVERED HEAD THING? Sad. But don’t be sad for him. He’s earned this.

VIDEO: A FATAL DOSE OF WATER Want to know how much you need to drink to die? How much chocolate would you need to eat? How much weed would you need to smoke? Watch the video and find out! Via Kottke.


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Canadiana Concert Series

I don’t know how extensive this series will be, but with the academic year just underway at the University of Regina, the campus bar The Owl is promoting a Canadiana Concert Series that will showcase some top Canadian bands/musicians.

The first installment goes Thursday Sept. 24 with doors at 7 p.m. The headliner is Saskatoon rock band Close Talker, with the Winnipeg rock quintet Yes We Mystic also featured on the bill. Admission is $5.

Other concerts in the series that have been confirmed include: Grey Land with Language Arts (Oct. 8); Shred Kelly with Bears In Hazenmore (Nov. 5); and The Elwins with guests (Nov. 19).

For more information visit the Owl’s website. And to give you a sense of what to expect on Thursday, here’s the video for “Burnstick” off Close Talker’s 2014 debut full-length Flux

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Give The Last Word On #PigGate To The True Authority

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

—George Orwell, Animal Farm

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Election 2015 Is Already Over And Stephen Harper Won Because People Are Horrible

cdnelxncircleI’ve been rethinking my post from the 11th. That’s the one where I proposed three explanations for why Harper’s campaign has flown off the rails. I concluded then that it most likely has to do with the Conservatives losing their top fixer, Dimitri Soudas.

I was wrong.

In hindsight, I realize that my second theory — the one I dismissed as paranoid nonsense — is the most plausible: Harper is campaigning like a callous, indifferent, comic book dictator because he knows he’s going to win and doesn’t give a shit what you think about his campaign.

And Harper is right.

The Conservatives are going to win the election on October 19. And they’re going to win a huge majority.

Hate on the messenger all you like. My reasons are sound and they’re after the jump…

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Daily Aggregation: Oink


2. BIG BLACKOUT IN REGINA  One woman was stuck in a hotel elevator. She and the elevator are both all right.

3. EMISSION TEST MONKEYSHINES: VOLKSWAGON VERKLEMPT “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” says VW chief Martin Winterkorn. I bet. Here’s the Canadian angle.

4. F-35? EFF THAT Justin Trudeau says the Liberals will bail on Canada’s F-35 purchase. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Trudeau doesn’t understand “the way these things work”. The trillion-dollar F-35 is the world’s most expensive weapons system but it can’t beat 40-year-old planes in air combat. Also, the Harper Government has played fast and loose with the plane’s true costs, which are approaching $50 billion. And that’s not the only scandal: in 2010, SOMEone removed criticism from the F-35’s Wikipedia page from a Department Of Defence computer.

5. MORE ABOUT DAVID CAMERON’S PENIS’ ALLEGED INTERACTION WITH A PIG’S SEVERED HEAD “And so we find ourselves enjoying arguably the greatest day in British history,” says Vice’s Joel Golby. Indeed.


7. THE NHL IS BACK TONIGHT! Pre-season games all over the place! The Columbus Blue Jackets! Connor McDavid! Woo!

8. FORMER NHL ENFORCER TODD EWEN KILLED HIMSELF Not all the hockey news is good.

9. MILEY CYRUS STICKS UP FOR WOLVES The pop star visited British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest this weekend after she was told to “stick to twerking” by BC Premier Christy Clark. Cyrus has criticized BC’s wolf cull, which the province says is needed to protect critically endangered caribou herds. A study says the herds are in decline due to habitat destruction caused by logging, oil and gas drilling, pipelines and road construction.

10. WHAT IF IT WASN’T DAVID CAMERON’S PENIS IN THAT PIG’S SEVERED HEAD? The Daily Mail story that started this rumour doesn’t specifically say “penis”. It says, “…the future PM inserted a private part of his anatomy into the animal’s mouth.” Did Cameron teabag that pig head?

11. SOURCES DISMISS “PM’S PENIS IN PIG’S SEVERED HEAD” REPORT That’s just what you’d expect them to do.

12. ANY EXCUSE TO TYPE “PIG’S SEVERED HEAD AT THIS POINT Vox has published a #PigGate Explainer. It should answer any remaining questions. Aside from “is this really true?” That, we might never know.

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Chad VanGaalen

On Thursday Sept. 24, multi-talented Calgary musician/producer/animator Chad VanGaalen is in Regina to play a show at the Exchange. VanGaalen has been through town several times since he released his debut album Infiniheart in 2004. His most recent release was Shrink Dust in 2014.

Doors for the show are at 8 p.m., and the back-up bands are the Bleach Wipes (Ryan Bourne and Chris Dadge) and Faith Healer. Tickets are $15 advance, and $20 door.

Here’s the video for VanGaalen’s song “Monster” off of Shrink Dust

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Sunday Matinee: ‘Breaker Morant’

sunday-matineeCriterion is releasing Bruce Beresford’s brilliant anti-war adventure true story movie on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.

Set in 1902 South African during the Boer War, Australian soldier Harry “Breaker” Morant (Edward Woodward) and two of his fellow soldiers are on trial for murder.
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Viet Cong To Change Name

Formed in 2012, the Calgary post-punk quartet Viet Cong has been making some pretty decent waves on the Canadian music scene. The band features two members of the now defunct band Women (vocalist/bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace), along with guitarists Daniel Christiansen and Scott Munro (who plays live with Calgary wunderkind Chad VanGaalen).

The band released a self-titled album earlier this year, and it was short-listed for the 2015 Polaris Prize which will be awarded in Toronto on Sept. 21. But the band’s encountered a bit of turbulence lately, with some people objecting to their name which references the guerilla army that was allied with North Vietnam and fought against the United States and its South Vietnamese allies in South Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

The band actually had one gig cancelled by a promoter of south Asian descent who was offended by their name, and after more concern was expressed in an Exclaim! article by fellow musician April Aliermo (Hooded Fang) about insensitivity toward Vietnamese Canadians and Vietnam’s troubled history the band has decided to change their name. You can read more in this follow-up Exclaim! report.

To give you a sense of what the band formerly know as Viet Cong sounds like here’s the video for “Bunker Buster” off their 2015 album

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Dress Codes

01 Hauser The Puffy Coat smaller (1)Iris Hauser has been active as an artist for over 30 years. With her latest exhibit of lushly painted portraits Dress Codes on at the Art Gallery of Regina until Oct. 11, she delves deep into the lives and personalities of long-time models who have worked with her in her Saskatoon studio.

As David Garneau observes in his curatorial essay, many of Hauser’s models have backgrounds in the performing arts as actors, dancers, musicians and even drag queens. As such, they’re used to putting their private selves on display in public settings.

Portraiture, as an art form, inevitably involves a degree of collaboration between the artist and  subject. In Dress Codes, Hauser expands this dynamic by allowing her subjects, through their choice of clothing, props and poses, to have significant input into how they were represented.

As the artist, though, Hauser still had the final say on the composition of her portraits. Without fail each subject makes eye contact with the viewer — not in an aggressive way, but their willingness to engage with us (through Hauser) does force us to confront the voyeuristic dynamic playing out in the gallery.

Hauser will speak about her work at the Art Gallery of Regina on Wednesday Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

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Norm Macdonald

If you don’t have your tickets for this show by the veteran Canadian comic at Casino Regina on Saturday, you’re too late because it’s sold out.

For close to 30 years, Macdonald has worked in the entertainment industry. In addition to his career as a stand-up, he’s got a host of TV and movie laurels to his credit — most famously on Saturday Night Live in the mid-90s, but also on The Drew Carey Show and NewsRadio, along with The Norm Show from 1999-2001.

A few years ago, Comedy Central ranked Macdonald #83 in its 100 top comics of all time. And when David Letterman signed off on May 15, he recruited Macdonald to be the final stand-up act. So overall, a pretty solid career.

Opening the show is fellow Canadian comic Stevie Ray Fromstein who goes by the Twitter handle: the Holy Atheist and had been known to engage fundamentalist Christians in debates about creation and evolution.

To close, here’s an appearance Macdonald made on Conan O’Brien in July that also featured celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay

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