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How Safe Is Oil Extraction, Transportation & Refinement In Saskatchewan?

Over the next three weeks, the University of Regina is presenting a three-part lecture series examining three key steps in the production of oil in Saskatchewan.

Most of the province’s oil is produced through enhanced recovery techniques that are not only expensive, they also pose risks to the environment. Then there’s the issue of transporting the oil to refineries and then on to market. Finally, there’s the refining process that’s necessary to convert the oil into marketable products.

The series kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 18 with Emily Eaton discussing the impact of drilling and production activity on landowners and communities in rural Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, Nov. 25 Simon Enoch will look at the rapid growth in rail transport for oil and discuss the need for greater regulatory oversight. Then on Wednesday Dec. 2 Sean Tucker will look at the refining process and threats to personal safety and the environment with particular reference to the Co-op Refinery in Regina.

All three lectures will be held at ED514, University of Regina, from 1-2:30 p.m. Find out more details on the U of R website.

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Kevin Hart

Reputed to be the shortest male stand up comic in history*, Kevin Hart has been active in show business as a writer and performer since 1999.

He was raised by a single mother on the north end of Philadelphia, and gravitated to comedy at an early age. Some of his acting credits include Scary MovieThe 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Fockers, Get Hard and the spoof TV series Real Husbands of Hollywood.

On Wednesday Nov. 18 Hart is in town to perform as part of his What Now? Tour. The show goes at Brandt Centre at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $49.50-$125, and more information can be found on the Brandt Centre website.

And here’s some video of a recent appearance by Hart on Conan where he speaks about his experience filming Get Hard with Will Ferrell

*Okay, I just made that up. Although at 5’4″ Hart is on the short end of the stature spectrum

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The Slocan Ramblers

If you like bluegrass, there’s a young Toronto quartet in town on Saturday, Nov. 14 to play a show at the Exchange. Consisting of Frank Evans (banjo), Adrian Gross (mandolin), Darryl Poulsen (guitar) and Alastair Whitehead (bass), the Slocan Ramblers released their debut album Shaking Down the Acorns in 2012. 

They followed that up with the recent release of their second full-length Coffee Creek. The show is being presented at the Exchange by Grassroots Regina. Start time should be 8 p.m., and tickets are $20 advance and $25 door.

Here’s video from 2014 of the Slocan Ramblers performing the song “Honey Baby”

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Rah Rah

While the album Vessels came out on Sept. 11, Rah Rah’s upcoming gig at the Exchange on Tuesday Nov. 17 qualifies as an album release in their home town. For a couple of months now, the band, which is composed of Marshall Burns, Erin Passmore, Joel Passmore, Kristina Hedlund and Jeffrey Romanyk, has been touring in Canada and the United States.

Following this show, and a few more on the west coast, Rah Rah will head to Europe for shows in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland before Christmas.

Rah Rah’s been touring with the Vancouver electronic rock band Dear Rouge, and they will be the support act at the Exchange show along with the Vancouver pop rock band Rococode. We’ve had Vessels in our office since mid-August and I’ve given it countless listens in that time. Overall, it’s got a pretty high energy vibe to it, so Tuesday’s show should be a dandy.

Here’s the video for the first single “Chip Off The Heart”

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Coyne, Ambrose & Edmund Burke

20151111_085123 (2)I was catching up on my reading last night after we put our 48-page Best of Regina issue to bed. It hits the streets on Thursday, but in last Saturday’s  Leader-Post I found this curious amalgam of text and image addressing the future of the Conservative Party of Canada.

On one hand, you’ve got a column by Postmedia’s Andrew Coyne that reads, in part, like a PhD thesis on the history of conservatism in western society. You can read the whole column here, but here’s an excerpt:

By “conservative,” of course, I mean “conservatively liberal,” for we are all, right or left, inheritors of the Western liberal tradition. And while there are divisions within the conservative strain of that tradition, what unites them, it seems to me, is a belief in the need to limit arbitrary power.

The Burkean might put more emphasis on the constraining wisdom of tradition, the libertarian might stress individual choice and autonomy, but what is common to both is an unwillingness to assign great or discretionary power to some over others: whether such power is concentrated in state or private hands, whether its purposes are malign or benign – perhaps especially if its purposes are benign, for people do the worst things for the best reasons.

Then to illustrate the article you’ve got what can only be described as a glamour shot of newly appointed interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose dressed in a black leather something-or-other standing against a black fabric background of some sort with dramatic lighting. I’m not sure under what circumstances the photo was taken, other than that, as the caption notes, it was at a Toronto hotel on Friday.

Anyway, it just seems like a curious juxtaposition of visual and textual messages. But I suppose in our current political/media climate anything is possible.

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The Snow Queen

SnowQueenEach year around this time the Globe Theatre unveils its main stage holiday theatre production. This year, it’s an adaptation of the Danish fairy tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.

Published in 1844, the story chronicles a struggle between good and evil in which two children named Gerda and Kai embark on a journey to save their land from the wicked clutches of the Snow Queen.

This Globe production is courtesy the theatre’s artistic director Ruth Smillie, and it’s being directed by Rachel Peake.

You can find out more about the production on the Globe Theatre website,  but The Snow Queen is scheduled to run from Nov. 14-Dec. 27.

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RSO Piano Festival

Pianists, along with those who love piano music, will be in their glory in Regina over the next two weeks or so. The Regina Symphony Orchestra, along with partners University of Regina Faculty of Fine Arts, Casino Regina and Cecilian Concert Series, are joining together to present Regina’s first piano festival.

You can find out more details on the RSO website, but here are some of the highlights:

Thursday 12

GERSHWIN RHAPSODY IN BLUE with David Braid (piano) and Matt Brubeck (cello) at Darke Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday 14

RSO SHUMIATCHER POPS Back to Back — The Music of Elton John and Billy Joel with guest artists Jean Meilleur (lead vocals), John Regan (piano), Kathryn Rose (backup vocals), Katalin Kiss (backup vocals) and the University of Regina choir at Conexus Arts Centre, 8 p.m.

Continue Reading →

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Talkin’ ‘Bout Turtles

Photo courtesy of Kelsey Marchand

Photo courtesy of Kelsey Marchand

In the July 23 issue of Prairie Dog we had an article about a research project University of Regina masters science student Kelsey Marchand was conducting to study the western painted turtle population in the area of Wascana Creek and Lake.

At the time of the interview, Marchand and her assistant Alyssa Stulberg had captured and tagged around 50 turtles. Most were just marked with a number for identification, but some were outfitted with small radio transmitters to track their movements, including where they ended up seeking shelter to hibernate over the winter.

It’s a two-year project, so Marchand will be back on the lake and creek next summer. On Thursday, Nov. 12, she’ll be giving a talk on her research at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation, and you can find out more on the RSM website.

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Sunday Matinee: Robinson Crusoe On Mars

sunday-matineeI still haven’t seen Ridley Scott’s The Martian yet, a month of watching and writing about old horror movies tends to put you behind recent movies. But I will soon, meanwhile today’s Sunday Matinee is about another astronaut who was also stranded on Mars, the 1964 independent sci-fi film Robinson Crusoe on Mars.

The movie is essentially a sci-fi retelling of Robinson Crusoe. Astronauts Paul Mantee and Adam West are going to be the first men on Mars. On reaching Mars, they are forced to use up their fuel to avoid a meteor. They both take escape pods down to Mars leaving their ship orbiting the planet but Mantee lands alone and has to scrounge to survive.
Continue Reading →

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Just For Laughs 2015

Every year around this time, Just For Laughs has a comedy tour that hits Regina. This year is no exception. Doing the host honours is TV personality and stand-up Gerry Dee, and guest comics include Cristela Alonzo, Robert Kelly and Graham Chittenden.

The tour is subtitled “The Relationship Edition”, so I assume many of the jokes will riff on the comedic trials and tribulations of people trying (or not trying, as the case may be) to make relationships work.

The show goes Tuesday Nov. 10 at Conexus Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m. You can find ticket information on the CAC website, and to give you a sneak peek here’s a routine from 2014 by Alonzo in which the Dallas Cowboys feature prominently

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The Conversationalist

TruszkowskiIf you’re looking for something to do next Saturday, there’s an artist talk and opening reception for a new exhibition by Robert Truszkowski at the Dunlop Art Gallery’s Sherwood Village location.

Truszkowski is a professor in the University of Regina’s Department of Fine Arts. According to advance publicity from the Dunlop, The Conversationalist incorporates references to a pop song by Beck called “Lost Cause”, an economic principle called “moral hazard” where a person who is protected against risk engages in a risky behaviour knowing that any losses or costs that incur will be born by others, and the mathematical equation underscoring the uncertainty principle which holds that due to the vagaries of quantum mechanics we can never be 100 per cent sure about phenomena that occur in our world.

How all that fits together, I’m not sure, but starting on Nov. 14 we’ll have a chance to find out. The talk and reception go next Saturday at 1 p.m., and I expect we’ll have a review of the exhibition in a future edition of Prairie Dog.

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Lee Harvey Osmond

The frontman of this Hamilton-based psychedelic folk project, Tom Wilson, has roots in the Canadian music industry dating back to the late 1980s. Junkhouse and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings are the two other projects he’s been involved with.

Lee Harvey Osmond (or LeE HARVeY OsMOND, as the band’s name is technically spelled) released it’s debut album A Quiet Evil in 2010. They followed that up with The Folk Sinner in 2013 and Beautiful Scars last April.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the band is in town to play a show at the Exchange. The back-up act is Toronto musician Thompson Wilson (Harlan Pepper). The show will get going at 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $30 advance.

Here’s the video for “Blue Moon Drive” off Beautiful Scars

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How Trudeau Do

This is just too good.

It’s embarrassing anyone disagrees with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s insistence on a minimum 50/50 male-female cabinet but they do, apparently. Not a big fan of picking on different generational cohorts* but… I guess maybe Canada really needed younger people in government. I didn’t vote Liberal this time (hugs to my dear friend April Bourgeois), but maybe the best party did win. We’ll see!

*Unless I’m trolling Barb.

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Stephen Fearing

So, there’s an odd coincidence tied to the Canadian folk music scene happening in Regina in the next few days. On Friday, Nov. 6 one of the three principals in the Hamilton folk rock project Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, Stephen Fearing, is in town to play a show at the Exchange.

Then the next night, another principal in the band will be at the very same venue to play a show as part of an unrelated tour with another project he’s involved with. But more on that tomorrow.

Born in Vancouver, and raised in Dublin, Fearing has been active as a folk artist since the mid-1980s. He’s got 11 studio albums to his credit (including one “Best of” package, and two collaborations with North Ireland-born singer-songwriter Andy White).

Fearing’s show is being presented by Grassroots Regina, and should get going at the Exchange at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance, and $25 at the door. Here’s video from 2013 of Fearing performing his song “These Golden Days”

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REVIEW: Blond Bond Bids Adieu

Daniel Craig leaves an impossibly high bar for the next Bond.

Daniel Craig leaves an impossibly high bar for the next Bond.

(Spoiler alert: While I won’t reveal any of the major plot twists featured in Spectre, some mild disclosures are required to review the film. If you want to go in blind, come back after seeing it.)

By most accounts Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes’ final James Bond entry, Spectre bears the responsibility of bringing the current incarnation of 007 to an end. As the speculation over who will suit up next rages, lets reflect on Blond Bond’s legacy.

Craig’s four films as Bond are head and shoulders above every other version of the secret agent, including Connery’s (sorry, purists). Two of them –Casino Royale and Skyfall– transcended the pre-established structure and delivered thrills and emotions fans of the franchise didn’t know existed. Vesper Lynd (Oscar-worthy performance by Eva Green) became the parameter all Bond girls were measured against. Judi Dench’s tenure as M came to a heartbreaking end at hands of a deranged supervillain with mommy issues. It has been quite a ride. Continue Reading →

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Capitol Jazzfest

For people familiar with the downtown Regina retail scene, the name Loggie’s Shoes would doubtlessly ring a bell. The family run business operated for over 90 years before closing in April 2014.

The space at 1843 Hamilton St. didn’t stay vacant for long, though. Instead, some significant renovations were undertaken and the Capitol Jazz Club & Tapas Bar opened in its place.

Our esteemed dining critic has written favourably about the new downtown nightspot. In addition to their food and drink offerings, the Capitol hosts live jazz by local groups on Tuesday and Saturday night.

This weekend, the Capitol is presenting a mini jazz festival. Below is the line-up information I have, and if you want to check out the menu and whatnot, here’s a link to the Capitol website.

Friday 6

CAPITOL JAZZFEST with Jonathan Dyck (4 p.m.), Dominc Ghiaione (6 p.m.), Carter Powley (9 p.m.), Von Vulture Trio (11 p.m.) and DJ Wolfman Herb at Capitol Jazz Club.

Saturday 7

CAPITOL JAZZFEST with Dustin Ritter Band (2:30p.m.), Chris “Tiny” Matchett (3:30 p.m.), Colter Wall (4:30 p.m.), Hot Club Saskatoon (6 p.m.), Carlo Petrovich (8 p.m.), Aaron Burnett Quartet (9:30 p.m.) and DJ Wolfman Herb at Capitol Jazz Club.

Sunday 8

CAPITOL JAZZFEST with Smarty Pants Trivia at 1:30 p.m. and a jazz jam hosted by Carter Powley (5 p.m.) at Capitol Jazz Club.

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RemeasureAlong with All’s Well That Ends Well and Troilus and Cressida, Measure For Measure is often described as one of Shakespeare’s “problem” plays. I’m not sure what flaws academics have latched on to with the first two works, but the main bone of contention when it comes to Measure to Measure is the swings the Bard makes between comedy and tragedy that come across as overly jarring.

Set in Vienna, the play involves all manner of soldiers, prostitutes, nobles and religious officials and involves an illegitimate pregnancy, prison, and even an execution.

Which brings me to Remeasure. It’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s play by University of Regina Theatre professor Katherine Bracht. According to the synopsis I read, it’s set in a modern-day cabaret and involves a critique of contemporary social mores through the lens of pop culture.

Remeasure runs at the University Theatre from Nov. 4-7, with the curtain at 7:30 p.m. each night. You can find out more information on the U of R website.

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Films For Foodies

For a few years now the RPL Film Theatre has been holding a foodie fundraiser. The next one is set to go on Saturday Nov. 7. The event typically involves a screening of a food-themed film along with an opportunity to sample specially prepared refreshments. This year, The Capitol Jazz Club & Tapas Bar, the Lancaster Taphouse, Rebellion Brewing and the Backyard are participating.

The film that is screening is the 2014 documentary The Search for General Tso which explores the history of mass market Chinese food in the United States. The film will be followed by a reception, and more details can be found on the RPL website. Tickets are $20.

To give you a taste of what to expect, here’s the trailer for The Search for General Tso

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Sunday Matinee: The Hound Of The Baskervilles

sunday-matineeBefore we say farewell to Hammer Films here’s one last movie. Not really a horror film but during their success with adapting classic horror tales they decided to adapt Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes tale, The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1959.

Several centuries ago the cruel Lord Baskerville chased after a woman who spurned his advances on the moors. When he finally caught up to her, he killed her with a dagger. A large hound, a hound of hell, appeared and murdered Lord Baskerville and now legend has it whenever a Baskerville is out on the moors a hound will appear and kill them.
Continue Reading →

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Never Swim Alone

Never Swin AlonePenned by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor, this satire serves as a critique of so-called alpha males who compete for supremacy in the business world.

Frank and Bill (played by Kenn McLeod and Zachary Smadu) are the aforementioned males. As boys they were friends, but now they’re business rivals, and under the direction of an anonymous woman in a bathing suit (played by Jacqueline Burtney) they engage in an increasingly mean-spirited “battle” to demean and undermine each other to prove their supremacy.

I don’t know of the phrase “you’re a lying piece of shit” gets uttered at any point. But the satire certainly has relevance in our current political and economic climate where similar power dynamics exist. Although as the play progresses, the characters do evince a certain amount of longing for the more cordial relationship they enjoyed as boys.

Never Swim Alone is directed by Mark Claxton and is presented by Golden Apple Theatre. It runs at the Artesian on 13th from Nov. 3-14, with curtain at 8 p.m. each night. For more information visit the Artesian website.

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