A queen's list for the Queen City: An artist's guide to falling in love with Regina - CBC.ca - Canadanewsmedia
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A queen's list for the Queen City: An artist's guide to falling in love with Regina – CBC.ca

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Everyone knows about the art scenes in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver — but what about Kamloops, Calgary or Thunder Bay? In CBC Arts’s continuing series “I He(art) My City,” a local artist offers an insider’s guide to the city they call home. Here, artist Zachari Logan takes you on a tour of his Saskatoon.

Last year, CBC Arts asked me to give you my top ten for Saskatoon, my hometown. This time around, I’ve been asked to share the same for my current home in Regina. So here goes…

Saskatchewan’s capital city is a charming, big-ish, small-ish town, with underrated beauty: big skies, bigger storms; downtown back alley’s brimming with gorgeous wildflowers; fantastic architecture; very important moments in Canadian history X; and Wascana, one of the largest parks in North America, spanning 9.3 square kilometres… larger than both Central Park in New York and Stanley Park in Vancouver, combined.  

Zachari Logan (center) sunbathing in Wascana, with two photos of the park’s beauty on each side. (Zachari Logan )

Wascana: Weeds, walking and weather… 

Per capita, Regina’s gem of a green space is the largest area for a civic park on the entire continent — so let’s start here. Wascana is a huge urban park that snakes through the entire city. It’s designed around Wascana Lake, which while man-made, has many wilder beings that live there and visit throughout the year. These include rabbits, Canadian geese, pelicans, frogs, beavers, muskrats, ravens, swans and many other beings. While I was faculty in the department of Media, Art and Performance at the University of Regina, I enjoyed walking from our apartment downtown through back-alleys filled with wildflowers during the summer months. As a pathway and the greening crown of the Queen City, these daily walks allowed scheduled sunbathing and one of my other vocations, as a flaneur. Wascana houses several very important buildings and institutions in Regina: the Saskatchewan Legislature BuildingMackenzie Art GalleryConexus Arts CentreRoyal Saskatchewan MuseumFirst Nations University of Canada, and the Saskatchewan Science Centre.

Images of the Saskatchewan Legislature Building in Wascana Park, during The Justice for Our Stolen Children camp, in the summer months of 2018. (Zachari Logan)

The Legislature Building

In 1944 the CCF (later the NDP) became the Province’s government, and thus the first social democratic government in Canada or the US. Under the leadership of Tommy Douglas, the people of Saskatchewan brought into being universal public health care, the first public arts board in North America, the Saskatchewan Arts Board and public enterprises to bring electricity, transportation and telephone service to the entire Province. As the struggles to bring these parts of the public good into being were focused on the majestic beaux arts style legislative building, it is worth a visit to the “Leg” to pay respect to this history. Itself a creature of public work, the Saskatchewan Legislature was an immense considered structure for it’s time, and it remains so today

Before Tommy, the CPR’s expansion west to British Columbia required a regime amenable to building railroads. The Northwest Resistance of 1885, lead by Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont and an associated uprising by First Nations Cree and Assiniboine, was perceived in Canada as a threat to this program, rather than what it actually was, a democratic expression of grievance to protect their rights. After armed forces from the east suppressed the resistance, Riel’s subsequent trial and execution took place in Regina. A small plaque in Victoria Park is the only acknowledgement of this history in the City. The plaque states that the trial occurred “60 steps” from it, but fails to acknowledge how the resistance changed the course of Canadian history. 

Images of Regina’s SaskPower Building. (Zachari Logan)

More architectural treasures…

Regina is wealthy in architectural treasures. Other than the important buildings I’ve mentioned already, I want to name my absolute favourite, the SaskPower Building, designed by Joseph Pettick. A truly amazing and peculiar edifice, it is Regina’s best example of modern architecture, in my opinion pushing the envelope toward post-modern form. The colour of the building references wheat fields and its swaying form represents wind. This building to me, is an elaborately adorned sculpture, with beautiful tile work throughout and a remarkable attention to detail. Other notable buildings include the First Nations University of Canada (designed by Douglas Cardinal), the RCMP Heritage Centre (designed by Arthur Ericksons), the CBC building (designed by Clifford Wiens), the Dominion Building (a beautiful example of Art Deco) and the Prince Edward Building, which houses Regina’s Globe Theatre

SLATE Fine Art Gallery’s recent reopening in April in Regina’s Cathedral District. (Zachari Logan)

Galleries and museums!

Regina has a remarkable amount of public art galleries and museums. The largest of these institutions, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, is an impressive museum with 24,000 square feet of exhibition space. It presents important exhibitions and fosters an impressive collection of historical and contemporary Canadian and international art. The Dunlop Art Gallery is another great gallery providing challenging exhibitions of local, national and international artists to the public, located in the Regina Public Library. Neutral Ground is Regina’s artist-run centre, which recently moved into a wonderful new space on Scarth Street. The Art Gallery of Regina, located in the Neil Balkwell Centre, a multi-use arts building, providing further exposure of Saskatchewan and regional artists. 

If you visit in September, you might be in Regina for the renowned Queer City Cinema, a wonderful international LGBTQ film and performance festival. Sakewewak Artists Collective, an indigenous initiative presenting great exhibitions, events and a yearly “storytellers festival” round out and reflect a city brimming with interest in the arts. The recently relocated Slate Fine Art Gallery represents an extensive roster of provincial and national artists, including Vic Cicansky, David Thauburger and the late Joe Fafard, among many others. 

Scenes from a Ukrainian restaurant Shynok. (Zachari Logan)

Food and drink

There’s plenty of joy to be found at a table in the Queen City. Regina —I was recently told — has it’s very own style of pizza, and I have to admit I’ve had some great pizza since moving here. My favourite by far is Trifon’s on Broad Street, but others swear by Houston Pizza, Western Pizza and Tumblers Pizza

My overall favourite dish is served up by Grekos. Called fragokota, it’s cornish hen stuffed with tomatoes and feta and covered in game sauce. My favourite restaurant overall, meanwhile, is likely Shynok, a family run Ukrainian restaurant on Broad Street, with otherworldly borsht. 

Other great spots include Avenue and Luigi’s, and for really great coffee hit up Cafe Royale in the Hotel Saskatchewan and 33 1/3 Coffee Roasters. Both the Italian Star Deli and the Ukrainian Co-op are long-standing gems, and from late spring until the snow flies, there is Milky Way, a lovely vintage spot to grab ice cream.

As a karaoke addict, I’ve searched out a few of the many spots in town, and regularly haunt Black Arrow Social Club, Q Nightclub and Crown & Hand. Victoria’s Tavern is a great downtown pub as is the Cathedral Social Hall, and Bushwakker Brewing in the Warehouse district is also a great spot for food and a long list of brews.

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White House to honour Jon Voight, Alison Krauss with National Medal of Arts – CBC.ca

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Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, singer and musician Alison Krauss and mystery writer James Patterson are among the artists and philanthropists being honoured by President Donald Trump for their contributions to the arts or the humanities, the first recipients of prestigious national medals since Trump took office.

The White House announced four recipients of the National Medal of Arts and four of the National Humanities Medal in a statement Sunday night. Voight is one of Trump’s few vocal Hollywood backers, and has hailed him as “the greatest president of this century.”

Trump is also honouring the musicians of the U.S. military, who frequently entertain at White House events.

Trump will award the medals during a ceremony at the White House on Thursday.

While the honours had been an annual affair during past administrations, they have not been awarded since Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. The most recent arts or humanities medals were bestowed by President Barack Obama in September 2016.

U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to singer Diana Ross during a ceremony in the White House East Room in Washington, U.S., Nov. 22, 2016. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

The recipients of the National Medal of Arts are:

  • Alison Krauss, the bluegrass-country singer and musician, “for making extraordinary contributions to American music.” The White House misspelled her name in its release.
  • Sharon Percy Rockefeller “for being a renowned champion of the arts, generous supporter of charity, and a pioneer of new ideas and approaches in the field of public policy.”
  • The Musicians of the United States Military “for personifying excellence in music and service to country.”
  • Jon Voight “for his exceptional capacity as an actor to portray deeply complex characters.” Voight starred in Midnight Cowboy, the 1969 film that won an Academy Award for best picture, and he won the best actor Oscar for 1978’s Coming Home. He appears in the Showtime series Ray Donovan.

The recipients of the National Humanities Medal are:

  • The Claremont Institute “for championing the Nation’s founding principles and enriching American minds.”
  • Teresa Lozano Long “for supporting the arts and improving educational opportunities” through scholarships and philanthropy.
  • Patrick O’Connell, the chef at The Inn at Little Washington, “for being one of the greatest chefs of our time.”
  • James Patterson “for being one of the most successful American authors of our time.” Patterson wrote a book about Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls. The book includes several references to Trump, including an account of the men’s falling out.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities solicit candidates for the medals and compile proposed winners. The White House, which sometimes adds its own nominees, traditionally approves and announces them ahead of a presidential ceremony.

Trump has had an uneasy if not hostile relationship with many in the arts and the humanities who oppose his policies and have denounced his presidency. He has been largely shunned by Hollywood and has skipped events like the annual Kennedy Centre gala that is one of Washington’s premier social gatherings after some honorees said they would not attend if Trump was part of the ceremony.

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Alison Krauss to Be Awarded National Medal of Arts – Rolling Stone

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Alison Krauss is among those chosen to receive the National Medal of Arts from President Trump. The honorees, including the country-bluegrass musician, actor Jon Voight, and the bands of the United States military, mark the first recipients of arts and humanities medals of Trump’s presidency.

Trump is set to present the medals at the White House during a Thursday ceremony. It’s unknown if Krauss will attend. A rep for the Grammy-winning vocalist did not return a request for comment.

The White House announced the honorees in a release on Sunday night that extolled Krauss’s “extraordinary contributions to American music” and noted how she has “entertained and enriched the souls of millions.” It also initially misspelled her name as “Allison.”

Known for her exemplary fiddle playing and angelic voice, Krauss has released music as a solo artist and with the group Union Station, featuring Dan Tyminski and Jerry Douglas. In 2007 she joined Robert Plant to release the Grammy-winning album Raising Sand. Overall, Krauss has received 27 Grammy awards.

Last week, she was announced as one of the headliners of the 2020 MerleFest, the annual string-music festival in North Carolina.

Recipients of the Medal of Humanities — the counterpart honor to the Medal of Arts — include chef Patrick J. O’Connell and mystery novelist James Patterson.

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Kamloops arts centre vote will be held on April 4 – Kamloops This Week

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A referendum requesting voter approval to borrow funds for a performing-arts centre will be held on Saturday, April 4.

Kamloops council on Tuesday chose that date after looking at recommendtions from staff based on legislative timelines, staff resources and how the time of year might affect voter turnout.

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The yes-no question will be: “Are you in favour of the City of Kamloops borrowing up to $45 million to construct a Kamloops Centre for the Arts?”

Now that the referendum date has been set, next steps include appointing a chief election officer and deputy chief election officer, likely in early December, and notifying the province.

The Kamloops Centre for the Arts is proposed to rise at the former Kamloops Daily News location downtown at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Seymour Street. The proposal is being organized by the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society, with a land donation and financial backing from local philanthropists and businesspeople Ron and Rae Fawcett.

The $70-million centre would include a main theatre (1,200 seats), a small theatre (450 seats), a black box theatre (75 seats), along with space for rehearsal, production and meetings for various groups.

The society hopes to secure between $25 million and $40 million in fundraising and grant funding, leaving the city on the hook for between $30 million and $45 million in capital costs.

The city said it would not need to increase taxes as a result of the Tournament Capital Centre being nearly paid off by the time it borrows money for the arts centre.

The city would, however, be on the hook for operating costs, similar to other facilities like the Westsyde Pool, Sandman Centre or Tournament Capital Centre, and $3 million in site servicing for underground utility work.

A previous proposal to borrow up to $49 million for a $91-million performing-arts centre failed in 2015 by referendum, 54 per cent to 46 per cent. If next spring’s referendum question gets the nod from voters next spring, construction could begin in the summer of 2021, with the arts centre completed by the spring of 2023 for a fall 2023 opening.

 

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