Tag: arts festival

R Streets R Stories

You can thank Sheri for that title – we used it as a hashtag for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival this year, and as an abbreviation of our theme, Our Streets Are Stories.

I always look forward to the CVAF anyway, but this year was extra special because I got Involved again and volunteered as the communications coordinator for the festival. This involved the usual social media effort, manning the Twitter and Instagram feeds while managing to keep myself as far removed from Facebook as possible. My alter ego on there suddenly became alarmingly popular though! This was a thinly disguised excuse to have an official reason to go out every night of the week and pack in as much festivalling as possible. I was creating valuable live coverage, honest! I even got an all access pass! (to a free festival).

I also had to help write press releases and schedule interviews with local media. Sheri (the chairperson) and other members of the planning committee were shunted off to TV and live radio interviews, frequently at horrendous times of the early morning. I did one myself too, at 6.45am on a Tuesday on community radio, practically guaranteeing me an audience of bus drivers and unfortunate Tim Hortons workers.

All these efforts paid off though, and the turn out was HUGE, despite the weather not being as exceptional as last year.  One key message we tried to emphasise in our media briefings was that the festival is #AllWeekLong. So many people still seem to think the festival is just the Street Fair on the last Saturday, when there are arts, dance, theatre, literature, music and film events on every evening for the whole week. Here’s a small sample…

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My parents arrived the first evening of festival week! A great way to start their summer holiday and I made sure to drag them to as many events as we could. They both even wrote and read poems at the poetry slam just 24 hours after their arrival! Poems had to be on the theme of ‘our streets are stories’ again. Here is my effort:

Cathedral Stories are worthy of glory
My poetry usually is not
While trying to avoid complication
I went for literal interpretation
The point of which I forgot.

It’s easier to start with a question, she says
How about, ‘What’s the word on the street?’
SLOW
or sometimes
‘No Parking’

At this time of year
Stranger signs start to appear
One popped up today
A stencil, sprayed, just outside Safeway
“It’s Good To Be Alive” the street seems to say.

Our cathedral story truly began
Five years ago
Returning from another poetry slam
Or was it just burgers in here?
Memories fade, the details unclear
But walking home we were
Small girl complaining
It had started raining
Small girl stops, plastic jacket undone
Not caring, while I start quietly swearing

She sits on the curb
In a puddle, plants her feet
And starts reading her book
In the middle of the street.

 

 

 

 

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Holy frijoles, three months since my last post? Oo eck, better get typing.

This is a bittersweet post because I have lots of things to be cheerful about and one big thing that is making me miserable. Let’s dwell on the positive for now!

Here is the positive:

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We bought a house!

I even mentioned it as a remote possibility in my last post – the permanent residency approval meant we were finally eligible for a mortgage. We had actually seen the house up for sale at Christmas when The Parents were here (for they are the sort who casually look up house prices “just to check”) but at the time we assumed it was all in the realm of fantasy. By the end of March, with residency approved, we discovered that not only was the house still on the market, it had also been reduced by $20,000. After consultations about help with the deposit with my wonderful and very generous parents, we put in an offer for another $10k less, and incredibly it was accepted the same day! The house was empty anyway and of course we had no property of our own to sell, so the sale went through very quickly and we actually completed and took possession within 3 weeks of putting the offer in! Naturally though, (and seemingly just because this involved me) there were quite a few last-minute bureaucratic tangles to deal with, and physically moving our stuff with two kids was an absolute nightmare. Theia has learned to crawl, and is close to walking now too. She got in Every Single Box as we packed. Ugh. Exhausting. But, we are in!

The house is blue and seemingly bigger on this inside, therefore, it is a Tardis house. There is more than enough room for The Parents to visit and stay long term, and we could even lock them comfortably in the attic if needs be. There are plenty of odd and unusual features like a full bathroom with claw-footed bath inexplicably plumbed into the unfinished basement to keep me amused. But best of all, it is only 3 blocks away from where we used to be, and so we are still in Cathedral (the bestest neighbourhood in town!)

It is my favourite time of year again, Cathedral Village Arts Festival time! This year Miranda did not go to bed before 9.30pm on any night of the week. We fitted in parading and picnicking and painting a cardboard version of our house on the Monday (the library took a very literal interpretation of this year’s theme, “paint the town”!), then saw some children’s theatre. Tuesday was a drunken poetry slam where I rhymed and ranted about daughters of feminists, we won sci-fi books at Wednesday’s Towel Day costume contest (I dressed as Slarty Bartfast, complete with beard), Thursday was a clown show and Miranda is now in love with all things Clown which is a little scary, and Friday was the 25th arts festival anniversary special show, featuring Taiko drumming and lifesized rapping Grandma puppets (and plenty more that we missed because of Bedtime). I dared to actually take a day off from the cafe on Saturday because I assumed all my regular customers would be at the Cathedral street fair. I think I was right. It was PACKED as usual, but actually more pleasant because it wasn’t so uncomfortably hot as last year. I had volunteered with Miri’s daycare helping out on their facepainting stall, and we had half-hour waits and line ups all day. Then it rained and I got utterly drenched. We saw some bands in the evening, had beers, much silliness ensued. Good times.

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We ran into my friend Barbara, this year’s chair of the festival several times during the week and she kept saying that it was nice to see us at so many events. Another friend commented that I seemed to know so many people there and always knew what was going on when. I don’t think of these things as unusual. I love having such a huge festival on my doorstep and it would be a shame not to make the most of it. And I know a lot of people here because they are a very friendly, welcoming lot and I do my best to get to know the neighbours – (not something I felt I’d ever want or be able to do in Darlington!). We have legitimized it by buying a piece of it, but this city and particularly this neighbourhood rapidly became our home and we are very, very happy to be here!

{Hashtag} CVAF2014

Last night I cycled faster than the mosquitoes…

I wish that was some sort of metaphor for something more profound, but it isn’t. We have had One Week of sunshine and summer, and I have been eaten alive. I can outrun the evil little buggers on the bike though! And sometimes, in the right atmosphere, even mosquitoes can be poetic.

Last week was the Cathedral Village Arts Festival. This year was made more special (and considerably more exhausting) by the fact that I’ve been on the planning committee for it, for pretty much the entire year since the last one. It was one of the things, like the Ales club exec, that I merrily volunteered for when I was playing Stay-at-Home Mum last year and thought I’d have LOADS of time. More fool me! I enjoy doing this sort of thing far more than the work I do to earn myself a living unfortunately, but that is another issue entirely.

Being on the communications team for CVAF proved an interesting role – basically, because they’d never had a communications team before! I drew the line at live interviews and getting up crack of dawn to go on early morning TV (I left it to the expert – @thereginamom for that!) but I did get to help write some media releases, edit website content and of course, the hours and hours of tweeting. Before the festival, we did the Taste of Cathedral event back in February, and then the “Fence-Weaving” (my name for it!) earlier in May, where we wove fabric (this year’s theme was The Fabric of Life) into the fence outside Connaught school, to make a giant rainbow. It was gorgeous!

ImageI also got to “manage” the CVAF twitter and instagram accounts, although in many ways, it managed me. I live-tweeted every event I went to, and then curated anything using the #cvaf2014 hashtag. During festival week I would regularly log on to discover 90+ new notifications, and went through the whole lot, retweeting the cream of the crop every night. This is on top of my usual online ramblings, plus promoting the brand new Wheelie Good Coffee as much as humanely possible. To my credit, I only got confused once and used the wrong account, but fortunately no one noticed! I got so in the habit of typing #cvaf2014 though that I caught myself signing off like that on text messages, and once (only once!) it nearly ended up on someone’s insurance quote at work…dedication, people! Dedication! I actually admitted that I didn’t want to use Twitter again after that week. That resolve lasted about 36 hours. #addiction.

So, in far more than 140 characters, here’s what the week looked like from my point of view:

Monday:

My last post was all about LAUNCH DAY for Wheelie Good Coffee! I was sponsoring the #CVAF2014 Big Yellow Taxi event, providing enthusiastic singers with hot coffee on a wild and windy morning. They filmed the event, which is lovely because I was so busy with coffee that I didn’t really get to appreciate what they were all doing. This is filmed outside Connaught School – here’s the video and I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about the choice of song and location… You’re welcome to play Spot The Coffee Cart too though!

http://vimeo.com/m/96265416

Here’s how I spent most of that day:

ImageTuesday:

Tuesday was the free-for-all poetry slam at the Mercury. Same format as last year, in that in exchange for a toonie, we were given two random words from a book, and then had to write a poem in 20 minutes incorporating the two words. This is easier in the Mercury than it sounds because it has been a full house every time I’ve been, and you can get inspired by the people around you. Plus, there’s cheap beer. Every single photo I’ve ever taken in there comes out Red though. This is Micaela:

Imageand here is my effort from the evening: http://belwritesthings.blogspot.ca/2014/05/the-pedestal-of-virtual-misery.html The theme was apt considering my role in the festival!

Wednesday:

Somehow, (more through persistence than talent, I feel) I ended up in the Finals of the Word Up Wednesday poetry slam! This meant, No Beer, no “I only had 20 minutes” excuse, (we could choose whatever poem we wanted, and could rehearse), and formal judging with Actual Prizes at stake! I found out I’d got through 6 days before the finals, but in those six days, I had the last minute CVAF running about to do, get the coffee cart ready, survive launch day, work, and even do an exam at work. So, I didn’t rehearse, but I did at least choose my poems. I went for Funny over Deep and Meaningful (as always), but (also as always) the other poets are waaay more comfortable with showing emotion in public than I am. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and even rounded up my own cheering squad in the form of Sam, James and Jeff. I did fairly decently, but I didn’t win. Never mind!

ImageOn Thursday night, I took Miranda to the Dance Expo at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre, because she’s recently decided she LOVES dancing (possibly because Abi The Big Girl Next Door goes to dance classes). I was not quite prepared for what we found there. One of my most reshared tweets was “Where else can you see Munchie the Dinosaur learning to belly dance?”! Even Miri was a bit taken aback by that, but she had a lot of fun, especially when we got to get up and dance ourselves. Unfortunately it was a sort of therapeutic and meditational dance session, very slow and calm. Miranda of course, was practically bouncing off the ceiling and entirely in her own little world. But dance is all about self-expression, right?

Image

Friday:

We attempted to go see some of the bands on in the Holy Rosary Tent stage. Although we had another enjoyable night – it was a beautiful evening to be out – my attempts to get Miri to listen to the band were nearly futile. To get to the tent, I made the mistake of walking past the little play park at the back of the school. Miri saw “the spinny thing” and spent the ENTIRE evening playing on the roundabout with a gaggle of other kids. I got the first batch of mosquito bites there, and doused them in vinegar borrowed from the chip van that was catering there! I bet I smelled lovely for the rest of the night. We caught about ten minutes of Black Drink Crier, but that was it!

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Then came the mahoosive Saturday street fair. We set up Wheelie Good Coffee outside our house. I went to buy milk for it before the street fair had officially opened, and 13th ave was already busy then. By mid morning, you could barely move. So I think my approach was sensible – pitching the cart outside our house, just off 13th Ave, gave me room to breathe, and a steady stream of people walking past who could grab coffee without having to queue up for hours in the heat. And what heat! That was my main hindrance to sales really, few people wanted hot coffee when it hit 30 degrees! Even my mosquitos bites got a bit sunburnt. It was a great practice though, and I got lots of positive comments from people too.

ImageIn the afternoon I closed up shop, so I could go marshal the street fair itself. This involved wearing a hi-vis bright orange vest over my huge purple hippy skirt. My look was completed with my official CVAF cap. Sooo stylish! This is Canada. People are lovely and polite all the time, which meant that “marshalling” basically entailed pointing people in the right direction  of the portaloos. Crowd management was out of the question:

DSCF8490There were 7 blocks full of 350+ stalls, and a turnout of over 40,000 people. And apparently, it was also the hottest street fair day that anyone could remember. Fantastic!! It was a bit hot and tiring and overwhelming for Miri, but she coped rather better after getting an ice cream:

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Overall, it was another amazing week, and I have a newfound respect for the whole thing given the sheer amount of work and effort that all the volunteers put in. It was nearly incredible to see how it suddenly all came together at the last minute, thanks to the hard graft by #TeamAwesome. The compliments and reviews keep coming on Twitter too – ALL positive too, which speaks volumes for the local community. I am really proud of #cvaf2014, my fellow volunteers, and this neighbourhood, and I’m so glad to be part of it all!

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Cathedral Village Arts Festival, 2013

Many apologies dearest reader(s), unlike last year I just haven’t found the time to do a blog post every day during the festival this week. The sheer length of this blog post should make up for it though!

We had a fantastic week though!!! I love having a huge, free festival just on my doorstep. One nice moment on Saturday was being asked “Oh, are there more stalls up there?” as I walked up the street – no, sorry mate, I’m just walking the half a block home!

This year was extra special mainly because I could actually go to everything. Last year I lacked energy for a lot of it after work, lacked babysitters for anything that went on past 9pm, and worked my arse off during Victoria day and the Saturday street fair. I feel sorry for my former colleagues having to work in “the zoo” that day! The restaurant didn’t actually look as busy this year though…

Stinky and Buzz
Stinky and Buzz

The Opening Parade on Monday was brilliant. Carl was off work too for Victoria day, so we took Miranda along together, with the drum and shakers we’d made at the library the weekend before. She was a little scared by Stinky and Buzz, two guys(?) in 8ft sock monkey-esque costumes apparently representing environmental awareness and depicting a smelly factory and a forest being chopped down. To Miranda and I, Buzz just looked like a freakish monkey with an axe lodged in his head:

Expert hula hoopers
Expert hula hoopers

However, as soon as we got to the Les Sherman park and she found her friends and saw kites and hula hoops and ice cream and things to climb on etc. etc. she cheered up no end. Perfect weather too – she actually caught the sun a bit!

My go!
My go!

Tuesday was my favourite event of the whole year, The Poetry Slam in the Mercury.  The theme of the festival was “Roots and Wings”, so this year Slam competitors were given a page out of a book on birds, and a page out of a gardening magazine. We had to pick a phrase from each, and include them in our poem. And we had half an hour to write it. Well actually, more like 20 minutes after we’d bought beer and found each other (lovely friends Amy, Carmen and Marianne came along, as well as Miri and Carl. Amy did a poem too and we had a great troupe of cheerleaders and moral support!)  As usual, my own effort wasn’t the startling, groundbreaking piece of literature or poetic masterpiece that it sounded like in my head (that would be the beer’s fault), but I did get to include the phrase “an inch-thick layer of Sphagnum moss”. I’m fairly confident that phrase just had it’s debut in modern poetry.

They're here!
They’re here!

Wednesday we missed everything, because…. The Parents arrived!! Their “summer” holiday, mainly to see Miri and celebrate her birthday, (a little early). They didn’t intentionally come for the Arts Festival, but it was great that they were here for it! On Thursday we wandered around and took Miri to Kiwanis park while they ‘acclimatised’ and got over the jetlag. We found all this Art outside Connaught Library too! I dragged them to see some dance events at the Cathedral Neighbourhood centre. We saw inCubanate and the Praire Lily cloggers (NOT the English style of clog dancing, more like tap!) and some belly dancers. Miranda was utterly transfixed and kept trying to get up on stage and join them! We also saw Brass Buttons (a band) at the big tent that popped up in the park opposite us. Not really my thing but Miri rounded up a crowd of Small Children, raced around madly and danced like a loon all night. Which is what you should do at festivals.

DSCF5096We saw possibly the most bizarre show of the festival on Friday, the Saskatchewan Film board together with the International Puppet Underground Film Festival, (adorably called “iPuff”) produced a load of little short films, most involving puppets and ranging from the pointless to the incomprehensible to the downright WEIRD. My favourites were “Saskatchewan is boring”, one about a small boy being attacked by a duck, and of course, WolfCop.  Carl and I also went out Late (gasp!) and saw a couple of bands – Robot Hive and the Screaming Daisies. They were both great and I got a rubber beer holder, so I was happy.

The finale was the street parade on Saturday. We started the day

Floral patterned wellies for my "roots" and Wings left over from Halloween!
Floral patterned wellies for my “roots” and Wings left over from Halloween!

off wonderfully with a very Canadian Pancake breakfast, and I dressed up according to the theme… There was another parade, this time involving steampunks and some very brave women in catsuits, loads and loads of stalls and food trucks, more music, the “lit tent”, living pictures (ie: people walking round dressed up as a Picasso painting) and even a Bike Valet service! Then there was Funville, with yet more music, various activities for the kids (Miri took it upon herself to teach others “proper football” in the park), and my personal favourite, The Society for Creative Anachronism.

It was incredibly busy, and beautifully sunny. There were even more bands on in the evening, but by that time we’d had such a hectic week that we didn’t have the energy to go out again. So much fun!! Official sources say it was actually a bit bigger than last year. They extended the fair by another few blocks so there were 350 stalls, and around 40,000 in attendance on the Saturday! Incredible!

I can’t imagine anything like this ever happening in Darlington…

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One last thing I should mention on here…we found a stall run by the Regina Roller Derby club, and were given a flyer for this:

I don’t know what it is, but someone stole my name!! 🙂

Whitby Gothic Style and many more eccentricities that I miss!

Yesterday my good friend, Kayhem Maus posted this:

In my opinion, it is nothing less than THE BEST THING ON THE INTERWEB!

Gangnam style is so annoying that even the numerous parodies are now loathsome, but Goths being Very Silly and laughing at themselves is the essence of Whitby Goth Weekend, and I miss it all a great deal! Can’t sing, can’t dance, can survive in heels on cobbles. Perfect.
Other random things I miss: (not a long list!)

  • Greggs pasties
  • Corsets-uk.com
  • Waterstones (yeah, there are better bookshops, but I miss the ubiquity of having one in every town! There’s only one new bookshop in the whole of Regina and it involves a 20 min bus ride)
  • The concept of a “high street” that you can wander around on foot.
  • Ultra cheap places like Primark, Netto and Wetherspoons. (sure the quality is a lot better everywhere else but there is definitely a market for Cheap Crap here!)
  • Hills and the sea.
  • I say this every time, but Supermarket Booze.

And of course, my daft, vaguely goth friends!

Culture Days

I was very pleased to learn that Canada has “Culture Days” – specifically, the last weekend in September. As usual, lots of Things Happen all over the place. This weekend we’ve been to the local school’s 100th anniversary celebrations (but sadly missed their “Pancake breakfast”!), saw local band, The Lazy MKs play (Miri danced like a loon!) and then did lots of Art and Crafty things at the Neil Balkwell art gallery. And I have two new souvenir t-shirts for my collection:

Time Traveller souvenir shirt from Connaught School
Silk screen t-shirt printing at the art gallery

Best of all though, I managed to Get Involved in some of this! For the past few weekends, I attended creative writing and storytelling workshops at the Creative City Centre (housed in an old building downtown, on the second floor above a shoe shop – you REALLY have to know it’s there!). The workshops were run by a very talented local writer, Shayna Stock, and it was all centred around the theme of “home” (well, actually it was rather nauseatingly called “where the heart is”). I met some fabulous and fascinating people who all had completely different ideas of what Home meant and where it was. I really enjoyed the whole thing. However, the workshops were all a setup to coerce us into actually performing what we’d written on stage at the Artesian!

So, up I got, and told my stories of home. (written, edited, rewritten, and rehearsed – not done off the top of my head!). One was a Rant About Darlington that I’d adapted from a post I wrote on here nearly a year ago. It was bitter and angry and depressing, yet got a lot of laughs. Schadenfreude perhaps?

The other one was a “captured moment” piece, about what I really count as home – where my friends congregate. Since some of them have asked for it, here is my piece,

“(Re)connecting with Home”

When Carl left in April, when he forced himself back on a plane to the UK, leaving us behind, I told Miranda that Daddy had gone to live in the computer. Luckily, she accepted this unquestioningly. She is two, and this is normal. Weekly conversations via Skype became the thing to do. Four months passed.

It is 5pm Regina time. It is still hot, and we are sipping iced tea as I try and boot up the computer. Miranda is only partially interested, unsure whether the computer’s presence will mean watching her favourite cartoons. Suddenly though, Skype connects, and there is the kitchen of our old house. The images reach us first; – the room itself is looking surprisingly clean and tidy. Carl has been packing up everything we own to emigrate with. The curtains are drawn, it has gone midnight there.

We can see all my friends. Most of them are drunk.

Dave leans over the camera, upside down to us, tongue out, pulling faces through his thick ginger beard. Miri is momentarily frightened, but then giggles at him.

Then, the sound kicks in. It is awful quality, and I think to myself, “really must get a decent webcam”. It is nearly impossible to distinguish any one conversation, but there is Chelle’s dirty laugh, there’s Dave’s dulcet, northern tones recounting one of the long-winded anecdotes that he always tells when he’s had a few. There’s the chink of beer bottles. It’s Carl’s leaving party!

Rachel appears on the screen briefly, her hair dyed black this week. “Me and Chris had a row” she announces, stoicly, and grimaces as if she’d just lost her keys or something. A minor inconvenience.

And then – there he is! My Carl, my beloved husband of thirteen years. Sweaty, and naked apart from a neon green Mankini from the Borat film.

I miss all my daft friends, and I love Carl so much. I think I love him mainly because he is a complete idiot!

Me, on stage at Artesian. (Thanks to Emma for the pic!)

Getting out and about

Looooong time no post – again!!

Well, Carl is here and settling in really well, seems to be really enjoying his new job, which is brilliant. We also have a lovely big new house! Miranda has been “adjusting” – this is a euphemism for Being an Awkward Little Madam. It’s not really surprising: Daddy suddenly reappearing, and then moving house was a big upheaval for her. She now has her own room, with her own toddler bed (she’s outgrown the cot), there are monkeys on her sheets, a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge teddy bear that we rescued from the rubbish bin(?!) and even a tunnel in the back of her cupboard in the bedroom that she can go hunting for Narnia in, or something. But would she sleep in it? No. For the first few nights she just fought sleep until after 11pm when we eventually gave up and took her to bed with us, then when we got sick of that and insisted she stay in her room, she wailed and howled and sobbed heartbreakingly, then woke up in the middle of the night and crawled into our bed again anyway. She has gotten used to the idea now and sleeps fine (but only after 9pm still) but instead she’s now refusing to use the potty or to brush her teeth. General AAAARGHS.

I showed in the last post how pleased she was to see her Daddy again after so long, and then last week, we finally got the ferrets back too! The Business has Landed. Moving ferrets transatlantic is another incredibly complicated bureaucratic nightmare, and more expensive and frustrating even than getting the LMO was, I think! It was impossible to do without employing the services of a specialised shipping company, who unfortunately, were next to useless. The ferrets were supposed to be on the same flight as Carl, but eventually showed up 3 weeks later. So many things went wrong!! So many missing pieces of paper and hidden costs! Not fun, especially not for Carl as he had to deal with it all from the UK without me. But they are here now, they also have a lovely big new house (a large cage in the basement, that is) and Miranda is hopping about, ridiculously excited about all things “ferritz”! She even dances about with them, trying to copy their war dancing!

Pancake is Miri’s favourite, apparently

Anyway, with family life back to “normal” – whatever that may mean, I was fully intending to use my sudden pOn otential abundance of free time (ie: with Carl babysitting) to Do Useful Stuff. Namely finishing the damn PhD revisions, getting some of my papers ready for publishing and so on, plus some other work-related projects I wanted to start. So far, that has failed to happen….

Another priority was Getting Out More and Meeting People. I want to make more friends here locally, and there’s a lot of things I want to start going to if I ever get the chance – things like book groups and salsa classes and the like, none of which you can do easily with a small child in tow. As yet, this too has failed.

And the reasons for failure? Well, work is still exhausting and even though I finish mid-afternoon now, I have to be in there at 7.30am and that is a killer. I don’t understand why eight hours feels so much longer when you start it at 7.30 than it does if you start at 9am…

On a much more positive note though, there are just too many things happening in Regina for me to have Study Days. It seems like every weekend there is Something Happening, be it a festival, a local celebration or a public holiday. Since “summer” began, we’ve been to:

I Love Regina day (yes, that is actually a Thing)

Father’s Day party at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum,

Gay Pride Weekend

Canada Day celebrations

The Summer Invasion

The Regina Fringe Festival

Queen City Ex

Megamunch-the-dinosaur’s 65000026th birthday party

Saskatchewan Day Cheap Beer (ok, so not an official event, but good anyway)

Regina Folk Festival

…as well as all the little outings we’ve done ourselves such as the outdoor swimming pool, the Science Centre, storytimes at the library, plenty of bike rides and the water park. Last weekend we sadly missed the Ukrainian Fall Festival and Symphony under the Skies, but on Monday (yet ANOTHER public holiday, this time Labour Day) we are going to the Labour Day Picnic in the Legislature Building gardens. Mainly because of the promise of free hotdogs and yet more facepainting.  We are also looking forward to the Festival of Mustard in a few weeks’ time.

Before anyone comments… I know, I know, this is Summer, and everything shuts down in winter, and I won’t feel the same way about this place when its -40 outside and you can’t leave the house… I know. I have been warned about Winter from everyone I’ve ever met in Saskatchewan, and quite a few outside it too.

But for now, I continue to love this place. I love the fact that there is so much going on, I love the community spirit and the any-excuse, monthly public holidays. I love the fact that the vast majority of these events cater to children (kids even get to paint with mustard at the mustard festival apparently), and better still that they are all (at least partially) free to the public.

Regina is NOT a boring place to live, whatever the coastal-dwellers tell you.