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The 12th annual RUH Foundation celebrity golf classic was held last week with a number of athletes from
various sports on hand to help raise money for the Royal University Hospital. Proceeds will support RUH Foundation’s $20-million GREATE.R. Campaign for the critical health care needs of patients and their families
who arrive at Saskatchewan’s busiest Emergency Department. Among those who signed autographs were
Eric Gryba (left) and Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Darren Steinke)
Watching paint dry can lead to a happy dance

Sandy and I watched paint dry.
We never thought our lives would come to this, but they have. We are planning to have the interior of our home painted for the first time in about 20 years. I don’t recall being as fussy about the paint colour that time as we are now. Maybe it’s because we were a couple of carefree, crazy kids back then.
How we lived with the colour we selected two decades ago, I don’t know. It was supposed to be a white with a leaning to beige, but it ended up being a white that had a pink tinge.
This time we have a small part of a wall in the kitchen where we have tried different paint colours. The first sample we applied might have worked, except for the longest time we couldn’t find the can from which it came. That sample has been on the wall for at least two years.
For the past couple of Christmas dinners we have told our guests that we are really close to getting the house painted. Behr with us, we would say.


Keep on buying books, you lovely Saskatonians

Saskatonians are the best book buyers in the country, according to
This is a clever little piece of tracking shared by the mammoth book-and-all-else company, to create some news and buzz. I’m thinking authors are grateful, too. Anything to keep reading in the public eye is much appreciated.
Saskatoon was third last year behind Vancouver and Calgary in the Top 20 Canadian Cities that Love to Read list. This year, we are collectively Number One, partly due to our insatiable thirst for science fiction and non-fiction. Indeed, Saskatoon bought the most books in those genres in the entire country.
For the purposes of clarity, the data reflects sales on a per capita basis, includes all Canadian cities with populations over 100,000, and was compiled over the 12 months starting in May 2016.


Jazz Festival
Powerful female singers lead lineup

Kevin Tobin, artistic director of the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, admits a festival’s shopping list can take some interesting twists and turns, even month by month.
So you can imagine how happy Tobin was when he acquired three Canadian song stylists, Amanda Marshall, Serena Ryder and Feist, as headliners at the TD Mainstage at the Delta Bessborough Gardens for the 31st annual festival running June 23 to July 2.
“Most of the time, we have a long-running wish list and it changes because we are competing against national and international markets for the best we can find,” says Tobin, who has been on the Saskatoon festival scene since 2000.
“Sometimes our geographical location presents a challenge. Winnipeg’s festival ends as we are starting. Edmonton is straight-ahead jazz. Calgary no longer has a festival. Vancouver is inundated with jazz acts year-round. Eastern festivals do their own buying. In the end, our festival is situated like it’s on an island, but we’re built on diversity and it has been for the last 10 years.”

Dimensions features the best of the best in crafting

A biennial exhibition that highlights excellence in handcrafted work by Saskatchewan people will be celebrated during an awards ceremony and reception this weekend.
The Saskatchewan Craft Council’s (SCC) 2017 Dimensions show features 36 innovative fine craft works created by 35 craftspeople. In total, 109 artists submitted 183 entries for consideration by the exhibition’s two-person jury.
“Dimensions is the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s open, juried, touring exhibition that encourages and rewards handcrafted items,” said SCC exhibitions and education coordinator Stephanie Canning.
“So, every two years, the Saskatchewan Craft Council invites all Saskatchewan residents to submit up to two works to be juried into the Dimensions exhibition.
“Because we’re a craft council, we focus on fine craft items. But our craft council is different in that it does accept visual art, photography, and printmaking, (while) some other craft councils don’t accept those categories. But, for Dimensions, we choose the best of any works submitted.”

Don’t charge me twice for garbage pickup

I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago about issues relating to the preservation of the landfill. A gentleman, whom we shall call Phil, emailed me, suggesting that my missive encouraged people to continue with wasteful garbage disposal practices.
Phil is a transplant from Kelowna, a city that at one time had a great dual stream program, but now has moved to a single-bin system that excludes collection of glass and plastic bags for recycling, products which Kelowna residents must now deliver to a depot bin (or toss them in the garbage).
Interestingly, Kelowna residents do not pay a recycling fee over and above their general taxes, yet people in that city actively recycle. However, from his email it sounds like Phil and his family are prime examples of efficient waste management.
Apparently, I did not clearly articulate my points on the matter of the landfill. The first point I attempted to make was that we already pay taxes for garbage pickup. According to a city report, we spend about $20 million a year on waste management, $9.47 million of which comes from property taxation and the balance from other sources.


Rick Fior
Horse racing is in his blood

Rick Fior can count on his fingers the number of race days he’s missed at Marquis Downs since he started working there in 1977.
For two of those days, he blames a family wedding. He laughs when he says his brother could have been more thoughtful.
His involvement in the sport started before he could walk. His parents started racing thoroughbreds in the mid to late 1950s. He spent his youth on the horse racing circuit, spending a few weeks every summer in either Edmonton or Calgary.
As he got older, he became a groom and a stall mucker for his parents’ stable. He loved hanging out with the other kids in the barn area.
He was there in 1969 when Marquis Downs ran its first race. The Downs has changed a lot since then, and so has the racing industry.


Our airport taxi service is very bad, and expensive

When you read the words “taxi” and “Saskatoon airport,” what immediately comes to mind? Is it convenience? Value? Service?
Probably not.
There are few debates more unique to our city than that of the Saskatoon airport’s exclusive contract with one taxi provider (OK, maybe fire pits, but don’t get me started on that one).
This exclusivity means there is no market choice, no competitive pricing and, quite often, no cabs to pick you up, leaving you stranded curbside until another one decides to come along. You probably have at least one friend who has waited for hours to get home after a long flight.
So we arrived back in Saskatoon late last week, and to our relief there was a lineup of cabs, and very few people looking for one. There were four of us — two adults and two elementary schoolchildren. We had two suitcases and a laptop bag, and the kids had their backpacks.