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John Arcand and members of his family play at the Fiddle Fest last year. The Express is giving away two passes to this year’s event (Fiddle Fest Facebook Photo)

Missed connections in hazy daze of summer

It’s a lazy summer week. What better – or worse – than a Missed Connections column. I included a couple of messages from Edmonton as well this time. The letters are true and unedited.
Purolater coincidence: “Last month u were at Piggies. Ur tiny, around 40 & Gorgeous lady. I held the door for u & you said thank you & then u sat alone. I tried watchin the game but couldnt stop lookin at u smile n talk. Was it coindedence that I was behind u at Purolater yesterday? U said something to the girl about how the box u were picking up always smelled good.


Midway colours, sounds swirl around The Ex

An attractive, colourful midway, laden with rides for the thrill-seekers, is often the cornerstone of a successful summer fair.
As the Saskatoon Exhibition enters its 128th summer fling, it realizes the full value of a partner as powerful as North American Midway Entertainment, a company based in Farmland, Ind., with Canadian corporate headquarters in Burlington, Ont.
North American calls itself “the largest travelling amusement park” and carries considerable clout with Canadians, serving the major fairs in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon before going to the major site, The Canadian National Exhibition, in Toronto later in August.

New police station draws national attention

The new Saskatoon Police Service station is possibly the coolest in Canada. That’s cool as in hip, state of the art, and high-tech.
It has been Deputy Police Chief Bernie Pannell’s project for 10 years, and he’s thrilled to finally open the doors and show it off.
“It’s been a long time in happening – 1,118 days from ground breaking to grand opening,” said Pannell in a recent interview.
“But it was worth it. This is the greatest police station in Canada, in my opinion. It’s state of the art. We have people coming from all over Canada to take a look at it.


Powwow, Treaty Days cheer First Nation

I attended our annual Treaty Days on my home reserve. For our First Nation, the celebration is our biggest gathering for the year.
This year, for the first time in many, we held a traditional powwow. A traditional powwow is different from a competitive powwow. A competitive powwow is when the dancers compete for prizes – generally money – whereas a traditional powwow is simply where people get together to sing and dance. One doesn’t have to bring food at a traditional powwow because all people are fed.


Saskatoon needs more flights to Toronto, Europe

Question: The airport seems busier now than in the past couple of years. Is that because of the additional gates or are there more flights in and out of Saskatoon these days?
Mayor Atchison: This past June there was a 9.96 per cent increase in traffic over last year. And the growth rate for the year so far is 6.7 per cent. We need more flights, period. We need more flights to Toronto or larger equipment on those routes. We are still in desperate need of a direct flight to Europe. Canadian airlines don’t seem to be overly enthusiastic about that.

Fringe festival celebrates 25 years

Bob Wyma believes the upcoming PotashCorp Fringe Theatre Festival will be the best one in the event’s history.
 Excitement is surrounding the 2014 version, and for good reason – the Fringe is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.
 “Based on what we’ve got for a theatre lineup this year, and really what we’ve launched as a street festival, I think our 25th will be our best in our history – if the weatherman supports that,” said Wyma, the Fringe’s executive director.
 “(There’s) just an unbelievable cast of independent theatre coming to Saskatoon from all over the world, and the street festival looks like it’s going to be 20, 30 per cent larger than what we had last year,” he added.

Master bargainer improved quality of police officers’ lives

Vic Hein retired from active duty with the Saskatoon Police Service in May 1986, but he’s left an imprint.
Almost from the beginning of his career in April 1957, he was a contributor to the improvement of police associations and helped Saskatoon set an example for other associations in Canada.
He was inducted into the Canadian Police Association Hall of Honour in 2001, the first from Saskatoon to be so recognized. Part of the citation recognized his ability “as a master at bargaining tables, negotiating ground-breaking rights and benefits.” He was also hailed for contributing to “the quality of working conditions and retirement benefits for police officers throughout Canada.”

People keep coming to taste Prairie Poppins Popcorn

Before you see Prairie Poppins, you are almost guaranteed to smell it first. Wafting out from beneath the awning is the mouthwatering scent of hot freshly popped popcorn, laced with accents of salt and sweet sugar.
Barry and Rosanne Jones, owners of the aptly named Prairie Poppins, have been serving up handmade batches of their signature kettle corn for more than 10 years at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market and the city’s popular outdoor festivals. They’re not hard to miss, either by following your nose or spying the Prairie Poppins signature bright yellow trailer, where the couple are hard at work making, bagging and serving up their mouthwatering fare for eager and loyal customers.

Spreading the word on mental-health illnesses

CLARA HUGHES is a woman on a mission. One of Canada’s most outstanding athletes ever is cycling across our country on what is being called Clara’s Big Ride.
Her goal is to bring awareness to mental-health illnesses. Like so many Canadians, Clara struggles with depression.
“This is going to be an epic journey, the ride of my life. And it’s all for awareness of mental health, breaking down the stigma when it comes to mental illnesses,” she told CBC.

Living with anxiety
People don’t understand panic attacks, but I do

I’m having a bad day.
It is not like this every day. Today is one of the really bad ones. I am feeling anxious.
The anxiety has been controlled to a large extent. I remember the hundreds of days when it wasn’t.
I would leave restaurants in the middle of meals. Sandy was left to either eat alone or follow me out the door. After she paid the bill that is. I would leave movies, leaving her to watch them alone. I remember watching Titanic from the door of the theatre; gosh, it was a long movie. Once, when we were in Las Vegas, we had fourth-row centre seats for Mama Mia.

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