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Artisan gives custom upholstery a unique twist P. 4

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WHAT MOVES YOU Skijoring enthusiast embraces winter with Norwegian tradition P. 6


Dignified, independent living for seniors at Abbeyfield House P. 18

A STAR P H O E N I X co m m u n it y n e ws pa pe r






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INVENTORY #I n g r e d i e n t s Ingredients Artisan Market carries products you won’t find anywhere else in Saskatoon. The store stocks over 600 specialty wines, as well as artisan and handcrafted beer. There is cheese imported from Quebec, allnatural eggs, artisan meats, unique oils, sauces and products from all over the world. Ingredients is licensed so you can enjoy a glass of wine or beer while you shop. Ingredients Artisan Market is located at 618 Second Avenue North and is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from noon to midnight.

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Artisan Market 1. Blue Benedictin cheese: made by Montreal monks. $5.43.








2. Creme Fraiche: $14.99. 3. Prosciutto Di Parma: $4.86. 4. Turkey and duck eggs: $1.50 each. 5. all natural eggs: One dozen $8. 6. Cacciatore links: $2.75 each. 7. Giusti Balsamic Oil: $39.

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#m y


fav o u r i t e p l a c e P. 1 6

the cover Pg. 10

Karrnnel Sawitsky sits for an interview in his Saskatoon home. Bridges Photo by Michelle Berg

#t a b l e

of contents

INVENTORY — 2 Saskatoon’s newest artisan market CITY FACES — 4 PARENT TO PARENT — 5 Inspiration for enjoying winter with the kiddies WHAT MOVES YOU — 6 READ MY BOOK — 7 Love poems that fuse American and Chinese culture FASHION YXE — 8 No one has a style like Shavonne Somvong’s CROSSWORD AND SUDOKU — 9 COVER — 10 Saskatchewan’s fiddling sensation IN THE CITY — 14 Running in the woods at popular dog park

MUSIC — 17 SPACES — 18 ON THE SCENE — 19 Pirate Fridays’ album release party EVENTS — 20 MEET MY PET — 22 George, the giant Maine Coon cat GARDENING — 23 Start spring early in your home OUTSIDE THE LINES — 24 Artist Stephanie McKay’s newest creation SHARP EATS — 26 Bet you’ve never had quiche this good WINE WORLD — 27 A white made for winter sipping

Amanda Smytaniuk takes her dog for a walk at the off-leash dog park in Furdale, her favourite place in Saskatoon. Bridges Photo by Michelle Berg Bridges is published by The StarPhoenix – a division of Postmedia Network Inc. – at 204 Fifth Avenue North, Saskatoon, Sask., S7K 2P1. Rob McLaughlin is deputy publisher/editor-in-chief and Marty Klyne is publisher. For advertising inquiries contact 657-6340; editorial, 657-6327; home delivery, 657-6320. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may be used only for personal, non-commercial purposes. All other rights are reserved and commercial use is prohibited. To make any use of this material you must first obtain the permission of the owner of the copyright. For more information, contact the editor at 657-6327.


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CITY faces #R i c k i


Upholstery with a twist By Jeanette Stewart Certain people have style you can pick out of a crowd. Ricki Skoretz is one of them. First you admire her jacket and then perhaps her accessories or colourful tattoos. What you can’t see is that Skoretz also has a unique business creating custom upholstery. Her creations are one-of-a-kind, pairing classic furniture designs with bold, unexpected colours and prints. Her desire to do upholstery sprang from her love of fabric and chairs, and a goal to make “functional art.” The best friend of Skoretz’ mother-in-law does upholstery and Skoretz begged her for lessons for years. She began apprenticing with her a year and a half ago. While she says upholstery is something you can learn on your own with the help of classes or online tutorials, the apprenticeship has been invaluable for her. “To do a lot of the larger stuff it’s beneficial to do an apprenticeship,” she said. Skoretz searches dumpsters, thrift stores and kijiji for cast-off furniture to restore. She also takes commission work, which has allowed her to bring life back into some beloved furniture, including a few family heirlooms. As a wedding present for some friends she re-upholstered a grandparent’s chair. “There is hope, as long as the bones are good. You can pretty much replace every part of it,” she said. “It’s just a really nice reaction to see people (see) something they thought couldn’t be salvaged that was just going to be a junker in their house.” Skoretz has been sewing since she was 11, but says there’s more stapling involved in upholstery than sewing. The original fabric on the chair can also be used as the template for re-upholstery. She says she finds her inspiration from vintage fabrics, and she likes to mix and match fabrics and incorporate lots of floral print. The response to her work has been great. She sold all the pieces she had made at a recent craft sale in Saskatoon and received some commission work. Skoretz, who also works at CFCR as a volunteer coordinator and office manager, says she’d someday like to turn her upholstery work into a full-time job. “I think it’s now becoming a viable career choice. People are becoming more interested in sustainable products, handmade products, (and) supporting their local community. It’s come more into the limelight now,” she said. Those interested in her custom designs can see more pictures on Facebook by searching Hiddenstitch, or email: for more information.

Ricki Skoretz, shown here in her basement studio, has the talent to turn her love for sewing into a career. BRIDGES PHOTO BY MICHELLE BERG

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Next week: At what age do you explain divorce to your child, and how? Email #p a r e n t

t o pa r e n t

Each week Bridges, in connection with, gathers advice from parents to share with other moms and dads. This week we asked:

What are your family’s favourite outdoor winter activities?

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“Building snowmen, snowball fights and of course tobogganing! Shoveling snow doesn’t quite make the list, but we combine it with the other fun stuff so it’s not so much like work.” — Alysia Czmuchalek

“Hooking the dog up to the sled and going for a walk will be fun to try. I would also like to try skating this year. As far as keeping warm, sitting outside in the hot tub is always a treat :)” — Carla Contreras

“I’m lucky because both of my boys love being outside in the snow. We often play in the backyard with the sleds or go to the tobogganing hill. This year the boys learned to skate so we’re hoping to hit up some outdoor rinks once they’re ready.” — Michelle Grodecki

“As a family our favourite activities are tobogganing, playing in the yard building forts and snowmen out of snow, and ice fishing.” — Shelly Lambert “Unfortunately not very much, lol! But if I had to choose one, it would be toboganning with the kids.” — Chera Miller

“Playing in the yard. Sledding.” — Dee B. “We love to curl; also ice skate.” — Debbie Amor “I very much enjoy the sliding, especially with my girls. I love the clean crisp air, the snow face washes and the time spent laughing, and can’t forget to mention the exercise (but that is something I never mention). It is so much FUN. Also, when its adult time, its hunting and ice fishing time, yeh.” — Shawnee Delorme

“Sledding and skating are our most common outdoor winter activities! Our favourite is the outdoor rink at Regina Beach, always such a peaceful & fun place to skate!” — Terri Leniuk

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“Making quinzees and snow people/animals.” — Angela Wells “We love sledding, skating, and building snow angels, snowmen, and snow forts!” — Regan Seidler SAS00223192_1_1


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what moves you #

Tell us WHAT MOVES YOU. Email bridges@


Saskatoon man brings Norwegian tradition home By Jeanette Stewart Joel Potié learned about skijoring during his time studying in Trumso, Norway. As a result he — along with Reia, his Alaskan Husky dog — upgraded from plain old cross-country skiing to skijoring, allowing his dog to pull him as he skis. The pair go skijoring each day to make the most out of winter.

Q: What moves you? A: I, opposed to most people I know, absolutely love winter. I love winter. I wait all year for that first snowfall to be able to go cross-country skiing. Now that I have a dog to enjoy it even more with… working in tandem with a dog while skijoring is one of the most blissful things I know (how) to do. Q: How did you discover skijoring? A: I first found out about skijoring when I went to this magical place where all the inhabitants truly, truly loved their wilderness. It wasn’t just a myth of loving their wilderness created by the government or tourism industry. They truly loved it. On any given weekend in this place the people would leave the major cities en masse to go to the woods and go for walks and enjoy the wilderness. You’d go to the downtown and there would be no one there, as opposed to any other city where the downtowns are booming. In this place the wilderness really came to life in the winter, because these people absolutely, absolutely embraced the winter. Once that first snowfall came down, the whole town would be out skiing. Everyone of all ages two to 100, they’d be out skiing. Some with their dogs, some towing their kids. All shapes and forms. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. Not only that, you could ski from your doorstep to the university, to a party, to the bar. You could ski everywhere. This city was made to ski — the most practical thing you’d ever seen in your life. It was there I realized that there’s bet-

Joel Potié takes his dog Reia skijoring in Saskatoon. Potié learned about the unique winter activity when he lived in Norway. BRIDGES PHOTO BY MICHELLE BERG

ter ways of living in a winter city. Saskatoon has yet to embrace being a winter city. These people skijor there and live practical winter lives. I decided that was something I wanted to bring back to my hometown and try to live a practical winter life.

together. You can make it happen kind of clumsily and you’ll get by but when you’re working well in a team in perfect synchronization, it’s an amazing thing to watch. It’s also an amazing feeling to be one with another creature like that.

Q: What exactly is skijoring? A: Skijoring is a Norwegian word and it means ‘ski driving.’ People mostly assume it’s something you do with a dog, but I’ve seen people do it with horses. In Scandinavia I’ve seen people do it with reindeer. You can kind of do it with anything that pulls you. It is nice to have some kind of background in skiing before you start skijoring... and your dog has to have some kind of affinity to pulling. It’s preferential if they enjoy the cold and they’re already healthy and that kind of stuff. And it takes training for you and the dog to move

Q: How long did it take to learn how to do this? A: I’ve been skiing since I was a little kid. I’ve only been skijoring for probably three or four years now. It’s a never ending process of learning. For both you and the dog. You’re training the dog to do it but you’re also training yourself to do it. It requires a lot of patience. Your dog is pulling at you right away in front. You don’t have any direct control. You’re hoping your dog is going to listen to you as it’s running as fast as it can. Because my dog has enough of an affinity for what she’s doing, it didn’t take me

very long to pick up as well. I kind of learned through her quite quickly.

Q: Where do you go to do this? A: That’s a difficult question to answer. Ideally, skijoring is made for skate skiing because you’re going quite fast and your dog is pulling very hard. Most places that are groomed for skate skiing don’t allow dogs. And a lot of places that are groomed for cross-country skiing don’t allow dogs. Either you go during hours where nobody is watching and you try to get away with it, or you go to dog parks with packed trails and try to clumsily ski. Or you go back-country skiing with your dog, and that’s kind of a whole other thing. Or you go north. The further north you go, the more open people tend to be with skijoring on ski trails. Q: What are people’s reactions when

they see you? A: If it’s in the city it’s a mixture of total amazement or very negative. Either one or the other. Either people stop and watch and can’t believe a dog is pulling a person, or they’re angry that you’re using the same trails as them. Wherever you are, if you’re on the road or ski trails or the dog park, everyone seems to be angry with you because you’re in the wrong place.

Q: It sounds like it’s worth it though? A: It’s absolutely amazing. You can do it with any dog. You don’t need a husky. As long as your dog is healthy and it can be taught to love to pull. Most of them can. It’s just such a nice activity to do with your dog, to work together like that. Rather than just you dragging you or your dog dragging you on the leash — truly working together.

Read my book #


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Loca l AUT H O RS: Writers tell us what makes their book worth reading

R a y m o n d D o u g l a s Ch o n g

A literary journey through poetry My literary journey in poetry began on a crispy spring day, Friday, May 8, 2009, in China, The Middle Kingdom. As a fallen leaf, a lone sojourner (fifth generation) from Gold Mountain, America, I had returned to Long Gang Li, Dragon Village, in Kaiping, Land of Peace. In the lush valleys and hills of Pearl River Delta of Guangdong Province, amid the Diaolou, Towers in the Sky, I solemnly arrived to honour my Zhang (Chong) ancestors of five generations. On that mystical day, atop the Hill of the Flying Swan, the amber cicadas shrilled and the black butterflies fluttered in the leafy woods. Across a jade lake near the majestic Mount of The Eight Immortals, I subtly felt

the joyous presence of my heavenly forefathers. In front of their stony tombs, I gave silent homage with the offering of food and burning of paper money. At this subliminal moment, my life was utterly transformed to a poetic crusade. Since spring 2009, my ethos has been obsessed with poetic thoughts, as I pensively muse about love. By a creative force that innately bridges my life between America and China, my psyche is constantly immersed in amorous lyrics about a beautiful woman of elusive mystery. On Sunday evening, Feb. 26, 2012, I landed in Saskatoon, The Paris of the Prairies, from Houston, Texas, for a new segment in my civil engi-

neering journey. I was truly amazed to discover a vibrant community of passionate authors in the cultural capital of Canada. I delightfully thrived in a literary oasis, among Tonight it’s Poetry series, The Word on the Street festival, and the Writer in Residence program in a zesty downtown along the grand banks of the South Saskatchewan River. In introspective solace, the context of my love poems is enriched by this unique spot, Saskatoon, on the golden prairie. Now, my lyrics are vividly sensuous and erotically voluptuous. As a poet, my soul and spirit have sustained a renaissance in creative vigour. As a man, my heart and mind have undergone a metamorphosis in creative think-

ing. In summer 2012, I delicately c r a f t e d my poems for Orchid Flower Love P o e t r y : Raymond Douglas Chong Amorous Moods of Sensuous Passion. My love poems are a fusion in sentimental desire of American and Chinese cultures. They are meant to richly convey the intense senses of bouquet, sight, touch, sound, and taste, with sensuous intimacy. They reflect my Chong legacy in America and my Zhang ancestry in China with subliminal subtlety.

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FASHION YXE #S a s k a t c h e w a n

Fa s h i o n

Shavonne Somvong

Crystal Cary:

Fa-Shavonne Sha-wow! By Jeanette Stewart Some people have style. No one else has Shavonne Somvong’s style. She’s a Saskatoon-based Internet star who gives and takes freely of online culture. Collecting diverse influences online has allowed her to create a chameleonic look. Think bold makeup, wild colours, Leslie Hall stretchy pants and one-ofa-kind accessories ordered from the Internet. “I’ve always appreciated style but I’ve always had a conflict with it being superficial. Now I find that style is a tool for my politics in a way, because being fat and visible is really important,” she said. “I took vanity as a revolutionary practice.” But don’t just think she’s a Tumblr knock-off — her inspirations run deep. She lists Divine and Edith Massey (of John Waters fame), ball culture in NYC in the ’80s (ie. the film Paris is Burning), Leigh Bowery (a performance artist and ’90s NYC club kid) and artists Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye Breyer for their exploration of gender. 1. Bow: ‘high-femme’ hair bow, Made by Olivia Horvath in Providence, R.I.

Casual and cute

2. 3. 5.



1. 2.


2. WHITE SHIRT: Aritzia 3. JACKET: Sunshine & Ski. “I got it as a gift for Christmas. ... It’s the warmest jacket I’ve ever owned.” 7.

4. PURSE: Roots. “They have amazing purses. ... It goes with everything because it’s that nice tanned leather.”

5. Jacket: Etsy. “I just really like the colours and the shapes.” 6. Rings: Grimes ring. “I got it from one of her friends.”

8. Boots: Jeffrey Campbell. Online.

Working at Farm Credit Canada, Crystal Cary dresses up to a degree at work — “I dress up a bit, I’m not formal whatsoever.” But after work, the 24-year-old tends to dress down in a “casual but fun and flirty” style. Cary gravitates to comfortable and cute clothing; she dresses up low-key outfits with other touches, like curled hair and red lipstick. Cary loves clothes so much that she helps others with the process — she remembers dressing up her three younger sisters and taking them shopping. She also helped her boyfriend’s sister shop for a grad dress. “I just love doing that, dressing people up.”

1. JEAN SHIRT: Aritzia. “My absolute favourite store is Aritzia. I shop there a lot.”

3. Necklace: Gift.

7. Pants: ASKS. Online. “They’re cool, metallic leggings.”

By Ashley Martin


2. Makeup: Lip Tar lipstick by OCC, eyeliner pencil for eyebrows, Sephora. “You have to use a lip primer or this stuff will drip.”

4. T-shirt: Teen Witch shirt. Online.

What’s your best cold weather look? Send a note to

8. Shavonne Somvong.Bridges Photo by Michelle Berg

5. PANTS: Havik. “The new coated pants, which I absolutely love. It gives the look of leather but not leather.” 6. BOOTS: Stella & Sway



6. Crystal Cary. Bridges Photo by Don Healy

# crossword n ew yo rk ti mes

Negotiation Update

Edited by Will Shortz

Across  1 Needle holder  5 Substances high on

1 14



10 Ring 14 Federal watchdog






the 49-Across


15 Complete 16 Swear 17 Half an Asian capital? 18 Cache 19 End of a haircut? 20 ___-engine 21 Stick (to) 22 Vixen feature 24 Leaned in one direction

26 “Typee” sequel 27 Verbalized 28 Won 32 Delivery person 34 Programs 35 Nigerian native 36 House starter or ender 37 Substance in the middle of the 49-Across

38 Program 39 Actress Long 40 Avid 41 Lifts 42 Contemporary of Aeschylus

44 N.L. East team, informally

45 Place for cargo 46 Fictional captive in carbonite

49 Theme of this puzzle 52 Mich. neighbor 53 Destructive pest 54 ___-Tass news agency 55 Foolable 57 DVR system 58 Pop 59 Hold off 60 Six-Day War leader Weizman

61 Some map lines: Abbr.


















45 50



























62 Substances low on the 49-Across

63 Capitol V.I.P.’s: Abbr. Down  1 Bit of attire for Mr. Monopoly

 2 “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” co-star

 3 Arrange  4 Deli choice  5 Whole lot  6 Chipped in  7 Cargo vessel  8 E.E.C. part: Abbr.  9 More erotic 10 Unreal 11 Elliptical

12 “Fat chance!” 13 Pitcher 23 Entre ___ 25 Lieutenant ___ of “Forrest Gump”

26 Command 28 Lugs 29 Speculate superficially 30 PayPal purchaser

31 Gets into 32 Dominates 33 “Charles in Charge” star

34 Imprisoned 37 Big name in flying 38 Beats

40 Subj. for a forest ranger

41 Recycling ___ 43 Scarlett’s kin 44 Futuristic weapons 46 Gathered, as bees 47 Energize 48 Olfactory ticklers 49 Do some online skulduggery

50 Place, as cargo 51 Women’s rights

pioneer Elizabeth ___ Stanton

52 Surcharge item in many hotels

56 Federal agcy. of 194675


Janric classic SUDoKU

Level: Bronze Fill in the blank cells using numbers 1 to 9. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and 3x3 block. Use logic and process of elimination to solve the puzzle.

A Message to Our Patrons and Civic Taxpayers from the Saskatoon Public Library Board Saskatoon Public Library has been in contract negotiations with our unionized library employees (CUPE 2669) since December 2011.









27 32


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Solution to the crossword puzzle and the Sudoku can be found on Page 27

The Board would like to provide you with an update on the facts regarding negotiations. On November 2, 2012 the Board presented CUPE 2669 with a Final Offer and requested that it be taken to the union membership for a vote.The Union has refused that request and is demanding a 15% general economic increase over a three-year period for employees, except Pages who would receive more. We believe our final offer is a very reasonable and substantial increase for our employees. • The Board is offering Pages, our lowest paid group of employees, a 24.11% to 27.93% increase over three years. They would earn a range of $12.00 to $12.50 per hour. Pages require a Grade 9 education and are primarily responsible for re-shelving materials. They do not require previous Library training or experience. • We are also offering other employees a 7% increase over three years, with a $.40 per hour supplement for pay equity, which brings the offer to a range of 8.39% to 10.03%. • Depending on the job classification and level of training, employees who work with the public would receive a range of $32,689 to $68,606 per annum. • All employees would receive a shift differential of $.80 per hour for any hours worked after 5:15 p.m. Pages would earn $12.80 to $13.30 per hour for evening work. Librarians would earn $25.96 to $37.19 per hour for evening work. • All employees, including Pages, currently receive 1 ½ times their hourly rate of pay for hours worked on Sunday. For example, Pages would earn $18.00 to $18.75 per hour on Sundays. • The Board is not seeking any significant changes to the language of the Collective Agreement, or claw backs of existing benefits, or changes to current working conditions. In addition to salaries, Saskatoon Public Library has comprehensive benefits in place with a health care plan (vision, dental, drugs), a life insurance plan, pension plans, vacation leave benefits, and sick leave plans. Settling this contract remains a priority for the Library Board. Given that other City of Saskatoon CUPE unions have settled for 7% over three years, we stand behind our final offer as fair and reasonable.

The difficulty level ranges from Bronze (easiest) to Silver to Gold (hardest). SAS00222890_1_1


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on the cover #

T H Esta r p h o e n i x .CO M / b r i d g es

I think it was my parents’ master plan that we all played fiddle. — Karrnnel Sawitsky

K a r r n n e l S a w i t sk y

Keeping time with a busy musician

Karrnnel Sawitsky, shown here in his Saskatoon home, learned how to play the fiddle at age four after watching his two older sisters play the instrument. Bridges Photo by Michelle Berg

By Jenn Sharp Karrnnel Sawitsky has taken singing in the shower to a whole new level. His favourite place to play music is the bathroom of his house. The acoustics are great, so he’ll stay in there for hours, his foot tapping out the rhythm on the white-tiled floor.

And the beat continues in his music career. Since 2009, he’s released three award-nominated albums. He’s written and co-written more than 200 songs. His newest single is called 101, a jazzy precursor to his solo album due out later this year. He travels Canada, performing and teaching in schools and at music camps and workshops. Behind the scenes, he’s

dating prominent Saskatchewan actress Amy Matysio. ■ ■ ■ ■ The first thing you notice about Sawitsky are his piercing blue eyes. He knows they’re special — he gets a lot of admiring compliments. A light blue denim shirt makes his eyes pop

even more, and slim charcoal jeans create a modern look. He sits comfortably in an oversized white leather chair in the living room of the modest character home he shares with Matysio in Saskatoon. The fiddling sensation has given hundreds of interviews but his responses never seem scripted. He laughs often and elaborates with funny stories about

his band and his family. Sawitsky grew up in Saskatoon, the youngest child and only son of Orest and Laura. His two older sisters Kanndece and Kimberly also played the fiddle. He took it up when he was just four. “I think it was my parents’ master plan that we all played fiddle,” he laughs.

We have a lot of fun. Creatively, we can stay on the same page and not get up in each other’s grill. — Amy Matysio

With his father on the accordion, the Sawitsky Family Fiddlers toured Canada throughout Sawitsky’s childhood and into his teenage years. Their show even included Ukrainian dancing and food with Laura becoming the group’s caterer. Playing at community events, weddings and bar mitzvahs was the norm — the children didn’t play summer sports like others their age. “You don’t think of it as different or weird when you’re a kid because it’s just what you come to expect,” Sawitsky says. There were times he would have preferred to play with his friends but now, when the family has the chance to play together, it’s pretty special. ■

■ ■ ■

Sawitsky returned from a five-week tour in Europe two days before this interview. That morning, he was on local breakfast television and in the evening he flew to Toronto for work. He and the Fretless (the quartet of Ray Bell, Troy MacGillivray, Daniel Koulack and Jake Charron) played shows in Germany, Switzerland and Holland. The fans were more responsive than Sawitsky expected. They played softseat theatres, nightclubs and rocker dens. In Hamburg, they had an audience of 1,400 in a huge warehouse-style club with three levels and balconies all around the stage. It could have been challenging playing for a bunch of rock fans but Sawitsky has been in the business long enough to read an audience. “People just love energy. We just found that you pour your energy on the stage. It didn’t need to be rock music or a specific genre. People just reacted to it really well. Knowing what your audience is transcends where you’re playing.” ■

■ ■ ■

During the five weeks Sawitsky was in Europe, Matysio was filming a movie in Vancouver. They didn’t get to talk very much but it’s a part of their unique relationship that both accept. Sawitsky was away from Saskatchewan for over half of 2012 and Matysio just as much. Continued on Page 12


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Amy Matysio and Karrnnel Sawitsky began dating about two years ago. Pictured here in Prince Edward Island, the couple cherishes their rare time alone together.  PHO TO COURTESY AMY MATYSIO


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People just love energy. We just found that you pour your energy on the stage. It didn’t need to be rock music or a specific genre. People just reacted to it really well. Knowing what your audience is transcends where you’re playing. — Sawitsky

“We have a mutual understanding that there’s times it’s going to be tough for both of us, for different reasons,” he explains. Fans of Facetime and Skype, Matysio says they’re very patient with each other as their schedules are often dependent on the whims of others. And when they do spend time together, the rest of the world is put on standby. “We’re very precious of our time when we’re together. You forget how to do that if you’re constantly taking for granted someone is going to be there every single day.” Jealousy can take a toll on any relationship but in order for one like theirs to work, trust is important. “When we’re apart we’re still together,” she says. “At the end of the day if you know what your partner is doing and why they’re doing it, you support them. You just have to do that. If you didn’t, it would constantly be a battle.” The pair is both creatively and artistically inclined, although in different fields. Their energies feed off of one another — Matysio and Regina videographer Preston Kanak came up with the concept for Sawitsky’s latest single 101, which they shot in New York last summer. “I love what he does and he’s extremely talented,” says Matysio. “If there’s something I can bring to his work that I do, then it’s just really invigorating to work together. We have a lot of fun. Creatively, we can stay on the same page and not get up in each other’s grill.” In the video, Sawitsky walks around the city, meeting people, hearing their stories and sharing his music. 101 has a jazzy New York feel. He composed the song knowing the video would be shot there. It has set the tone for his solo album, which will feature all original compositions. He’s going in a different direction than his past folk music work by incorporating French Canadian, jazz, groove and funk-influenced tracks. “I really want to have a big collage of styles and not stick within one genre. My theme is fiddle music throughout the world.” Sawitsky welcomes creative input and often works with a variety of musicians. Even Matysio lends a hand.

After almost 30 years performing, Karrnnel Sawitsky has learned the art of reading an audience.  PHOTO COURTESY CHAD COOMBS


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It’s scary to think, is music next? Are they going to cut funds to the Saskatchewan Arts Board and to SaskMusic? — Sawitsky

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Karrnnel Sawitsky now travels the world bringing his fiddling compositions to new ears. He’s pictured here in the music room of his Saskatoon home. Bridges Photo by Michelle Berg

“I always ask Amy when she’s listening to something I’ve recorded what she hears. Whether it’s a colour, mood or theme; I don’t think there’s been one instance where what I’ve thought of that track is what she’s heard.” Unfortunately, the couple may not be calling Saskatchewan home for much longer. They’re considering moving to Toronto, mostly for Matysio’s career. She says losing the film tax credit in the province has been a major blow for the industry. For Matysio, the work hasn’t dried up but the people around it have left. If she wants to do something creative, a small, independent short film or a documentary piece, the best

people are gone. “It’s sad because I’ve had such a great career in the province and have been so supported by the province in film and television,” she says. “It’s scary to think, is music next?” asks Sawitsky. “Are they going to cut funds to the Saskatchewan Arts Board and to SaskMusic? It’s all the same thing, it’s just a different artistic field.” “If the government wants to try and define the way they fund each different kind of art form, then they’re going to kill art forms, because you have to be competitive with every other province and every other state. Otherwise, no one’s going to come here.”

■ ■ ■ ■ It’s been a long road for Sawitsky to turn music from a childhood hobby into a successful career. He always knew what he wanted, he just wasn’t always sure how to make it happen. A concept that many in artistic fields understand, Sawitsky wanted a career to fall back on while pursuing music. He played junior hockey at Notre Dame College in Wilcox for two years after high school. He has an engineering degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Working in engineering gave him financial opportunities to expand his music that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Over the past six years, his life has gradually become more about his music, yet he’s still involved with projects at Stantec, where he works part time. Part of the reason he’s been so successful at his double life is the relationship he’s formed with his employer. He says it’s about respect — it wouldn’t fly if he missed work because he was up the night before making music. Sawitsky won the youth-oriented 30 Below award at the 2012 Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor Arts Awards in September. He and Matysio first met at the 2009 ceremony — each was nominated for the same award. They both lost. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It’s

all about balance. Playing in fiddle contests from an early age taught him that. “We both really love the statue of the little bird. It’s an honour. (But) like any award, I don’t put too much emphasis on it,” says Sawitsky. The cliché “it’s an honour just to be nominated,” is true for him. “If you get nominated and treat not winning as a loss, I think you’re just going to be putting yourself down.” It’s this unpretentious attitude that has taken Sawitsky so far in the music industry. His inherent talent gets his foot in the door and his Prairie-raised humility will keep those doors open for years to come.


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IN THE CITY #J a n u a r y

5 , 2 0 1 3 — 1 : 4 2 p. m .

A bird’s eye view

The Young Naturalists’ Snowshoeing group stop to watch for birds next to the bird feeder at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm on a mild Saturday afternoon in the Bridge City. Bridges photo by Michelle Berg


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YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE Bridges wants to hear about your favourite place in Saskatoon! Email


m y F avourite P lace

A walk through the woods

Amanda Smytaniuk and her dog Odie enjoy the off-leash park near Furdale, their favourite place in Saskatoon. Bridges Photo by Michelle Berg

By Jeanette Stewart Amanda Smytaniuk moved to Saskatoon from Regina a year ago and quickly found a favourite place in the city. She loves visiting the off-leash park near the aptly-named Furdale whenever possible, enjoying the trees, scenery and gorgeous river view. Her family of three children and a dog named Odie are also big fans of this

little nature retreat located on the outskirts of the city. Many residents of the city bring their dogs out for a walk to the park and some socializing with other hounds.

Q: Why is this your favourite place in Saskatoon? A: It was the first thing that really set Saskatoon apart from Regina for me. The beauty of the river and the space to be able to run through — it

was just cool and exciting.

Q: How did you find it? A: When I first moved here some people in the community who have dogs told me about it and wanted to bring me out here and did. I continued to come out here, I bring the kids with me all the time. We just tour around and hike the trails. Q: How did Odie react? A: I was a little bit nervous because

I’d never taken him to anything like this before and I wasn’t really sure how he’d behave with other dogs. The advice I was given was to just let him go. He did really good. He just played and would run around and really keep up with the bigger dogs.

Q: How often do you come out here? A: During the winter way less than in the summer. Usually we try to get out here once a week when it permits. In the spring and summer mul-

tiple times through the week.

Q: Do you think this is a lot of peoples’ favourite place? A: Probably for dog owners. Q: You mentioned that spring is your favourite time to come out here. Why? A: It’s warm enough that you can stay out there for a long time and not be freezing. Also, the light. The way that the sun plays around in there with the trees is really pretty.

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Music #


Fol low bridg es onl ine at or you can follow us on Twitter @bridgesYXE or on


Band’s short sets are technologically sound

Robot Hive are taking a break from performing so they can add to their repertoire of original music. Chris Notenboom, from left, Henry Brass, Elton Roscoe, Dan Besuijen and Matt Kaip. SUPPLIED PHOTO

By Andrew Matte The official mandate of Regina pop-electronica band Robot Hive is to ride on the proverbial coattails of the early success of the band. The band, which began with former members of Regina’s Sylvie, was meant to provide guitarist Chris Notenboom and a handful of others with a new musical mandate. The goal is electronic pop, which means it’s heavy on synthesizer sounds and clear melodies without relying too much on computers, especially during live performances. “I have never been into the whole a couple of guys playing behind a laptop while they’re on stage and

pumping their fists in the air and that kind of thing. I’d rather see somebody play an instrument if they can,” Notenboom said. “For the performance aspect, we decided it was better to have people actually playing the synthesizers than (to) just have sampled tracks.” The biggest challenge for the band is bringing all the elements together. There’s some work involved in arranging all the equipment and keyboards on stage. It takes a little more than plugging a couple of guitars into an amp and setting up an old-school drum kit. “We have an extremely complex setup. We don’t use a lot of backing tracks when we play live. Everything is played or triggered

live,” said Notenboom. “Up until recently, we only were able to perform four songs because our setup was so complicated. But we wanted to get out there, play some shows and start to build something. “It was a running joke for a while because we had the longest setup for a band with the shortest set. We compared it to the Albert Street bridge over the Wascana.” The band is made up of Notenboom, Elton Roscoe on keyboards, Matt Kaip on drums, singer-guitar player Dan Besuijen and bass player Henry Brass. When Notenboom was still putting the band together with Roscoe in 2012, he asked Besuijen to join Robot Hive after hearing him sing

during a solo show. “I saw Dan play at O’Hanlon’s one night. And I thought he was the best singer that I had seen in quite some time. Elton and I had always been looking for a project to do together but we needed a singer.” Kaip came on board and he and Notenboom decided they had plenty of common ground when it came to using technology. “Matt had such a vast array of knowledge in the kind of thing that I wanted to do that I thought we’d make the perfect pair.” Notenboom said Robot Hive’s sound came together after experimenting with bridging technology and live performance. “This process has shaped our

sound. It’s through all of this experimentation that we found the sound that we have now,” he said. The band played its first shows in August. After a few shows, they decided to take a break to record more songs in hopes of generating more attention from fans and the industry — record companies and agents included. “We’re taking a little break so we can get some more songs that we can play live and also finish the demo that we started,” Notenboom said. “The response has been great and it’s happened in a short time. But in order to lure some agents or a contract of some kind we’re going to need to have some sort of a set.”


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SPACES #S a s k a t c h e w a n ' s

b e s t s pa c e s

Spaces celebrates beauty both indoors and out. If you have a living space we should highlight email

Abbeyfield House a special place for seniors By Jeanette Stewart WHO? Ted Spurgeon, President of Abbeyfield Houses Society of Saskatoon, Inc. Ten independent seniors live in the home. WHAT? Abbeyfield House, a living space for 10 residents and a hall space and activity room in the basement shared with different community groups. Abbeyfield Houses Society of Saskatoon, Inc. is a non-profit registered charity providing housing for independent seniors. WHEN? The home opened in 2005. The society began working on opening the home several years before any shovels hit the ground.“(It) took many, many years before anything happened. They received the first resident in the fall of 2005,” said Spurgeon. WHY? “(It provides) an opportunity for seniors that would prefer to live in an environment with other people.” The home was built out of a realization that there is a place in the community for a home like this, created out of a need for social interaction among seniors. “As one’s parent’s age you gain an appreciation for some of the problems seniors face,” said Spurgeon. “Really, as facilities go, it’s quite a warm, inviting place.” HOW? The home is managed by a working board of volunteers, community volunteers and a small staff. A mortgage was secured by the society and the home was built. “Now the biggest question we’re wrestling with is do we build another one?”  ridges Photos B by Michelle Berg

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ON THE SCENE #P i r a t e

F r i d ay s ’ A l b u m R e l e a s e

Vangelis Tavern was filled with pirate hats, eye patches and underwater decorations for Pirate Fridays’ album release on Jan. 4. The night started with an awesome party punk band Herd of Wasters with Kris on vocals and guitar box, Andy on vocals and bass and Lucha Libre Masked Bart on drums. Indigo Joseph, a high-energy prairie rock and roll band, with Etienne, Eric, Byrun and Sean, opened for Pirate Fridays and Mario Lepage DJed in between sets. Once Pirate Fridays started their show, the floor became flooded with fans, spilling onto the stage, crowd surfing and knocking over amps. Adam Lemus on guitar/vocals, Dylan Evans on guitar/ vocals, Brynn Krysa on bass, Arlan Kopp on drums and Daniel Tang on saxophone and keys all brought great energy to the stage. This folk-hop goof rock band put on a high energy musically

inspiring release party for their new album Semi-Golden Smile. 1. A fan crowd surfs at the Pirate Fridays’ album release at Vangelis Tavern. 2. Andrew Cooper, Nicole Brown, Samantha Braun, Jordan Bulgis and Lisa Isaak 3. Kristin Brown and Matthew Stevens 4. Cody Powell and Thomas Roebuck 5. Hanna Carlson, Emily Wright and Julie Vickaryous 6. Ramy Shoker, Bronwyn Lee and David Wickstrom B ridges Photo by Michelle Berg








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What you need to know to plan your week. Send events to

#M U S I C Thursday, Jan. 10 Madison and Lorry Noble Crackers Restaurant and Lounge, #1-227 Pinehouse Dr.



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Friday, Jan. 11 Piano Fridays w/ Maurice Drouin Alexis Korchinski The Bassment, B3-202 Fourth Ave. N. Mel Van Dale Army & Navy Veterans Club, 359 First Ave. N. Method Man The Odeon Events Centre, 241 Second Ave. S. Saturday, Jan. 12 Piano Series: Jan Janovsky Trio The Bassment, B3-202 Fourth Ave. N. Stetson Nutana Legion, 3021 Louise St. Mel Van Dale Army & Navy Veterans Club, 359 First Ave. N. The All Mighty Voice w/ Guy and the Fellas Vangelis Tavern, 801 Broadway Ave.


Sunday, Jan. 13


Stetson Nutana Legion, 3021 Louise St.


Wires ‘n’ Wood McNally Robinson, 3130 Eighth St. E.








Blues Jam Vangelis Tavern, 801 Broadway Ave. Tonight It’s Poetry Lydia’s Pub, 650 Broadway Ave. Tuesday, Jan. 15 Blue Rodeo: 25th Anniversary TCU Place, 35 22nd St. W. Karaoke Deathstar The Fez, 834B Broadway Ave.


Open Mic Lydia’s Pub, 650 Broadway Ave.


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Jim Cuddy and Blue Rodeo will perform Jan. 15 at TCU Place. File Photo


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Aaron Hursh (left) and Skye Brandon in a scene from King Lear, which runs until Saturday on the BackStage Stage at the Remai Arts Centre. File Photo

#A RT Mendel Art Gallery The gallery spaces are closed until January 18 for installation of the new winter exhibitions. Between shows, there is LUGO. This fourth annual massive art party is a gallery fundraiser, featuring delectable food, fabulous performances, dancing and more. LUGO is Saturday, Jan. 12 from 8 ‘til late. Visit for details. Affinity Gallery (Saskatchewan Craft Council) Until Jan. 20 at 813 Broadway Ave. Creativity and Spirituality, an exhibition exploring spiritual concerns in the creating of Fine Craft. The works explore the many uses of light within the world of glass. A reception will be held Jan. 11, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. St. Thomas More Gallery Until Feb. 28 at 1437 College Dr. Ancestral ground, a selection of prints

and works on canvas, from the 1970s to the present, by local artist Ray Keighley. A reception will be held Jan. 11, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Station Arts Centre, Rosthern Until Jan. 20 at 701 Railway Ave. in Rosthern. Prairie Pictures by Dorothy Knowles. Ukrainian Museum of Canada Until Jan. 31 at 910 Spadina Cres. E. Red and Black, the artworks of Iryna Karpenko. Handmade House Showcase Gallery Until Feb. 2 at 710 Broadway Ave. What’s in the Box, wooden boxes by Walter McNabb. Meewasin Valley Centre Gallery Through February at 402 Third Ave. S. Walks with Gina, by Erich Keser. It is an exhibit depicting images of plants, birds and natural scenes in all seasons.

Art at Will (formerly Willow Studio) Until March 1 at The Wood Alehouse, 148 Second Ave. N. The Tree Show, works interpreting the tree motif. Includes several Saskatoon and area artists.

#S P E C I A L


Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Jan. 14, 7 p.m., at TCU Place. An exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world. A collection of inspiring action, environmental and adventure films from the festival to 400 communities and 35 countries across the globe. Beethoven Blockbuster Jan. 15, 2:30 p.m., at the Bessborough. A Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra performance. Players’ Choice Series. With works by Blumer, Dvořák and Beethoven.

Strawberry Shortcake: Follow Your Berry Own Beat Jan. 16, p.m., at TCU Place. This live musical adventure takes the audience to the whimsical land of Berry Bitty City where the whole town is buzzing with anticipation for the Glitzy Glaze Talent Show. Strawberry Shortcake and her friends prepare for their moment in the spotlight, and prove that little girls can do berry big things. With the Doodlebops.

#T H E A T R E King Lear Runs to Jan. 12 on the BackStage Stage at the Remai Arts Centre. Wednesday to Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The inaugural production of Theatre Naught, a new professional theatre co-operative. An aging father — dividing his kingdom — demands proof of love from his daughters, thereby unleashing a tempestuous tragedy that no one can control.

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P ET love rs: We want to meet your pet! Email


George is a big scaredy cat By Ashley Martin

Good thing James Plummer could tell me all about his Maine Coon cat George, because the 10-year-old purebred spent the duration of our interview in hiding — he is just not that fond of strangers. “If you’re sitting here for a while he’ll come out and stuff, but when you first come in he’s just nervous,” Plummer explained. George weighs 25 pounds and has the typical accordion body of a Maine Coon cat, which means he can stretch out to about 2 1/2 feet long. George’s brother, Donvan, is about a year older but considerably smaller. The Plummer family — which includes wife Jamie and three sons, aged five to eight — also has another cat, Bagheera, a black domestic cat from the Humane Society.

Q: Where did you get George? A: He came from a breeder in Carstairs, Alta. They’re called Sunexotics Maine Coon Breeders, so he’s purebred. His father was the big champion and even bigger than him for that matter. At the time, 10, 12 years ago, they were about $400 each. Today I think they’re about $1,200, because of popularity and demand. Twelve years ago the Internet didn’t have where you can find them ... I had to do a lot of research on where to find a good breeder that breeds for size, all that sort of stuff. We weren’t going to show them — a lot of people want to show cats but I just wanted him for size. Seeing who their dad was, I was pretty convinced. Q: Why did you want this breed? A: When I was growing up we had a Maine Coon cat that was a retired show cat. I just always wanted to get another one once I got older and had kids, just because they’re really friendly, gentle, but their size is always fun because they’re so big and

people are amazed by them.

Q: How big was he as a kitten? A: They’re average size and they don’t get full size for maybe two years. Q: Are they typically shy or is that just George? A: That’s just him. They’re actually more known for being overly affectionate compared to other cats. My grey one here (Donvan), he’ll be all over you. George will too but he’s got to get used to you first and then he’s extremely affectionate. ... Actually, their nickname is the gentle giant. Q: What can you tell me about this breed? A: They call them Maine Coons because they have tufts on their ears and the joke is they crossbred with a raccoon 1,000 years ago or something, which is probably not true but that’s kind of where it comes from. They originally come from the Boston area and now they’re actually quite popular. ... In a lot of commercials on TV you can tell it’s them because they have little tufts on the ears like a lynx. Q: How did the cats adapt once you had children? A: At first when the kids were babies, the bigger cats hid most of the time. The black one, he’s from the Humane Society, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. Even now the cats don’t come out that much when the kids are running around, but once they quiet down and sit on the couch, then (the cats) come out. It’s just they don’t seem to like noise. Q: Do you let them out of the house? A: No, that’s another thing in the contract (you have to sign with the breeder): You state you’re not going to let them out; they have to be an indoor cat, which I agree with anyways — I don’t think they need to be outside. They’ll live longer and have a better life and less chance of losing them.

James Plummer and his 25-pound Maine Coon cat named George. Bridges Photo by Don Healy

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gardening #C u t t i n g s

Jump-start spring inside your home By Erl Svendsen Now that Christmas is behind us, the decorations are packed up for another year and the poinsettias are no longer in season, it’s time to think of ways to bring some new colour into your home. What better way than to take some cuttings from your spring flowering shrubs and force them into flower in your home. This is the perfect time of year to do this. To understand why this works you have to know a bit about the dormancy cycle — don’t worry, I’ll keep it simple. In the early fall, responding to longer nights, woody plants begin to undergo a number of changes in preparation for a long cold winter. The outward signs are that growth stops, buds form and leaves fall. Internally, there’s a lot chemical, hormonal and cellular changes that occur at the same time. At first, the hormonal balances shift to growth prevention. Regardless of the outdoor conditions, once plants enter this phase, growth simply will not occur except with further internal changes. As we enter winter, this is exactly what happens: the hormonal balances gradually shift back to allow growth but it is now temperature that is the main barrier. And normally, growth would not start until the ground thaws and daytime temperatures are well above freezing. But by bringing cuttings into your home, you are getting past that final growth barrier. To start, take cuttings at least 30 cm long without destroying the shape or structure of your flowering tree or shrub. Make sure the branches have flower buds and not just leaf buds. Flower buds are usually rounder, larger, and/or clustered together on short branches or spurs. Next, bring the cuttings indoor and immediately place them in a bucket of cool water. A recommendation before my time was to mash the cut ends with a hammer to improve water uptake. This does not work. Think of the stem as being made up of thousands of tiny straws. Now

think about sipping your favourite beverage through a crushed straw. Not likely an easy job for you or the stem. Keep the branches in a cool 15 to 18C, bright location (but away from direct sun). Low humidity, a common winter problem in many homes, may cause the buds to dry up before opening; therefore place near a humidifier or mist frequently with plain water. Change the water regularly. Over a few days to a few weeks, the buds will swell. Once they begin to show a bit of colour, they are ready to be used in arrangements. There are a number of suitable woody plants that can be forced into bloom. But not all are usually ready to be cut at the same time. One part of the dormancy story I left off is that buds also go through an aging or maturation process after the hormonal balances favour growth. Consider the procession of flowering in your landscape. The earlier they flower normally, they earlier they can be cut in the winter and successfully forced into flower. So starting with the earliest, forsythia (bright yellow bells — one to two weeks to force), willow (yellow catkins — two weeks), and poplar (reddish catkins — two to three weeks) can be cut as early as January. In February, consider those as well as cherries (white or pink — two to four weeks), plums (dark pink — two to three weeks), and pussy willows (silver fuzzy catkins — one week). In March you have further choices with hawthorns (white to pink — four to five weeks), honeysuckle shrubs (pink, red, or white — two to three weeks), apples and crabapples (pink, red or white — two to four weeks), mockorange (white, very fragrant — 4 to 5 weeks), lilacs (several colours — 4 to 5 weeks) and spirea (white bridal wreath type only — 4 weeks). Take cuttings over several weeks to ensure you have replacement stems A simple floral arrangement of a couple of forced forsythia branches. Photo courtesy of K.K. Marais. for your arrangements. Consider also in your arrange- which are ready when cut. Combine such as tulips or daffodils to create a the Saskatchewan Perennial Society (; hortscene@ ments brightly coloured stems such your flowering stems with other stunning early spring display. This column is provided courtesy of as red- or yellow-stemmed dogwoods, spring flowers from your local florist


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OUTSIDE THE LINES #Colouring contest Each week, Stephanie McKay creates a timely illustration meant to please kids of all ages. Children can colour the page, have a picture taken with the finished product and email it to by Monday. One winner will be chosen each week.

Last week’s contest winners are Bailey, Markus and Wyatt Bitner. Thanks to everyone who submitted entries.

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Ea r on ly B Sa ird le for Ticke $10 ts 0

A spinoff of the popular reality TV show, “Dancing with the Stars”, Saskatoon’s finest celebrities come together to compete for charity. This heartfelt evening is dedicated to raising money to go towards providing additional support for families caring for a terminally ill loved one.


This year’s celebrities are:

Kaylyn Kyle - Summer Olympic Medalist Christian Braid - CEO of Braid Flooring Maura Davies - CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region Clarke Wilm - Former NHL Player Heather Morrison - Magic 98.3 Radio DJ Lisa Dutton - Global Morning News Anchor Tom Sargeant - Saskatoon Hilltops Head Coach Glenn Wig - CEO of Aquifer Group of Companies

Jan. 26, 2013@ TCU PLACE Cocktails @ 6:00pm Dinner @ 6:45pm Celebrity Dancers @ 8:00pm Special Performances by Alpha Kidz & Saskatoon Salsa Dance Co. @ 10:00pm


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Gun Quiche House

Cross the street for this quiche By Jenn Sharp I’ve never gone out of my way for quiche. Quiche just isn’t a food that you cross the street for. Made wrong, it’s runny and flavourless. Done right, the egg base is perfect for creating any number of combinations. But frankly, I could never be bothered to find out. That’s how much I cared about quiche. Until now. One of Saskatoon’s newest restaurants, the Two Gun Quiche House, is not only worth crossing the street for, it’s worth driving here from Regina. Bill Matthews quietly opened the bright mustard yellow and plumcoloured Riversdale restaurant in September. Business has been growing steadily ever since. Matthews attracted a loyal following from his now closed café in the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, Giuseppi’s, along with enough newcomers to keep the place happily buzzing during the noon hour. A decidedly prohibition-era theme dominates the interior and makes the establishment’s unique name work. Black and white wanted signs for gangsters line the walls and Frank Sinatra plays in the background. The Italian mobster concept may seem strange for a quiche house. I was puzzled too — why not a stereotypical deli or sandwich shop? There are a number of classic Italian sandwiches on the menu, like the Mortadella, or as the menu states: “Baloney on steroids.” Prosciutto, Calabrese salami, roasted peppers, provolone cheese and lettuce on focaccia bread for under $12. But Matthews’ new spot is a throwback to one of Riversdale’s original settlers, Two Gun Cohen. The Londoner, and former pickpocketer, Morris Abraham Cohen was sent to Saskatoon in the early 1900s. When a holdup ensued at his favourite restaurant, the Alberta Cafe on 20th Street, he punched the gunman in the face, earning the respect of the area’s Chinese community. After moving to Edmonton and fighting in the First

Spinach and feta quiche with a Thai coconut soup at Two Gun Quiche House on 20th Street in Saskatoon.Bridges Photo by Michelle Berg

World War, Cohen would later become a bodyguard for China’s first president, Sun Yat Sen. The menu is small, but that usually means the ingredients are fresh and dishes made to order. If quiche isn’t your thing, there’s a porchetta sandwich, pulled pork with a homemade BBQ sauce, a smoked chicken salad sandwich, salads and “life changing” soups. For dessert, try ice cream with

local sour cherry topping or Italian lemon rice pudding, finished with a glass of homemade lemonade. The quiche is what made Matthews a mainstay at the Farmers’ Market for years and I suspect it’s the quiche that will keep people coming back to his new 20th Street venture. He’s got nearly 40 varieties in his repertoire and every morning makes six to eight different kinds.

“It never sits in the fridge for more than two days,” he says. The day I visited there was a breakfast, Italian, mushroom and Swiss, broccoli and cheddar, spinach and feta, and ham quiche. The generous slice comes with a bowl of the so-called life changing soup, salad or coleslaw for $10.90. I tried the broccoli and cheddar, while my dining partner had the spinach and feta. As stated earlier, I’m

no quiche expert. I’ve definitely had bad quiche though so that qualifies me to talk about how deliciously luxurious Matthews quiche is. The vegetables and cheese were perfectly folded into the fluffy, light egg base, which sat atop the flakiest, most flavourful crust I’ve ever tasted. I raved about that quiche for days and you will too. Even if you’ve never gone out of your way for quiche before.


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V i e i ll e F e r m e

Forget about pronouncing this wine, just enjoy it


By James Romanow Around this time of year, I find myself in the grocery store sobbing and clutching a bunch of Romaine to my breast. Although, like everyone else, I drink more red wine in winter than summer, there absolutely are moments when I just need a shot of liquid sunshine. Most winos are the same, finding themselves veering unexpectedly into the white wine aisle in January and heading home with a bunch of parsley, some frozen shrimp and a nice bottle of white. If you want a wine that works with all of the above and won’t break the bank, may I suggest La Vieille Ferme, m’sieur? It’s a rounder wine than sauvignon blanc, with a texture rather like chardonnay. It’s also a very inexpensive wine. Too many people ignore France when they are wine shopping. It’s a great wine producing nation, with a tremendous amount of output. This means good wine for cheaper. The thing you have to accept is their best wines won’t be labeled like Argentinian or Okanagan wines. They will be made from grapes with which you are unfamiliar. Vieille Ferme is a white wine from the Luberon. (For cork dorks, that is Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino

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Alex.) The resulting blend is flat out delicious. It’s fresh, with great herbal and stone flavours and just enough roundness to keep you drinking the wine before dinner, during dinner and after dinner (and maybe even opening a new bottle). It’s pronounced Vee-ay Ferme, meaning the old farm. My advice is to forget about sounding French. Just march into the SLGA, and ask the nice person in the snappy golf shirt for “a bottle of the chicken wine please.” La Vieille Ferme, France, 2010. $13.57 ****

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Bridges - January 10, 2013  
Bridges - January 10, 2013  

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