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A shoppe of extraordinary shoes + objects for your life.

126 – 1801 Scarth Street Regina 306.757.0888 Shopping and Business Inquiries: Wholesale Inquiries:

11 – 6 Mon – Wed 11 – 7 Thurs – Friday 10 – 5 Saturday Personal or Group Shopping Events Evenings, Sunday.


Welcome to our special digital Summer Solstice Issue.

directory Astra Financial Services 2310 College Avenue Regina 306.522.7888 Studio S Fashion House East 3221 Quance Street | Regina | 306.543.2013 studioSfashionhouse studio-s-fashionn-house studiosfashion studiosfashion Uforia Muse Cathedral 3024 13th Avenue | Regina | 306.569.2228 uforiamuse Uforia-Muse Uforia Muse East 3247 Quance Street Regina | 306.779.2228 uforiamuse_east uforiamuseeast uforiamuse ZÖE: Shoes + Objects for your life. 126 – 1801 Scarth Street Regina | 306.757.0888 zoesshoes zoeboutique2016 zoesshoes To join the SKY shopping directory, please contact

LYNN ARMSTRONG, Publisher, Writer, Editor AMBER MOON, Designer GREG HUSZAR, Photographer BRENDA ROSSOW-KIMBALL, PHD, Faculty of Kinesiology &

Health Studies, University of Regina BONNIE CUMMINGS-VICKARYOUS, Executive Director The Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished! Inc EMAN BARE, Journalist SHAWN FULTON, Photographer JACKIE HALL, Photographer




with you. Print Available - $12.00

Brenda Rossow-Kimball is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, Chair of Creative Options Regina (COR), The Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished (Being Astonished!), and leads the George Reed Centre for Visual Accessible Communication, funded by the George Reed Foundation. The photo was taken at Creative Options Regina with artwork by Jason Robins in the background. Styled by ZÖE Boutique; Hair and Makeup by Blush Beauty Bar. Photograher Greg Huszar Publisher SKY Publishers Ltd. Editor Lynn Armstrong Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of SKY Publishers Ltd.

ISSN 2368-8440




06 The Evolution of SKY as an Independent Boutique Magazine 10 Uforia for the Day, Muse for the Night 12 ZÖE: The Rebirth of a Shoe Boutique 20 A Story of Acceptance, by Brenda Rossow-Kimball 36 Astonished!, by Bonnie Cummings – Vickaryous 30 COR 32 The Abundance Affect, by Zena Amundsen 34 How I Learned to Love Less, by Eman Bare 36 On the Day of Emancipation Wear Gold Shoes, by Lynn Armstrong 38 Photo Editorial, by Yannie Dimitri Kalamaras and Jackie Hall


FROM LAND TO SKY, THE EVOLUTION OF AN INDEPENDENT BOUTIQUE MAGAZINE DEAR READERS, One of the things that I love about the sky is that it is constantly changing. I love the possibility of change. And it’s a necessary part of life in all things. We all change. We never stay the same. Now in my fifth year of publishing SKY (10 years in total), it is time to evolve with the times, and the realities of our daily lives. My founding intention for SKY was to create a magazine that would inspire us, and tell the stories of people living in their vision. This continues to be my intention. SKY is an independent magazine. With the help and vision of two amazing entrepreneurs and artists, Greg Huszar, photographer, and Amber Moon, Designer, SKY has built a strong brand and following. Over the past four years, SKY has changed. When I first became the publisher, SKY was a 100% cover to cover advertorial. The print run was 32,000 and it was mailed (for free) to homes in high income neighborhoods in Regina and Saskatoon via Canada Post. The cost of producing a single 16-page issue was approximately $16,000. When I became the publisher, I brought something new to the table. I am a marketer, business strategist, journalist and a professional communicator. So I introduced the concept of strategic story telling to the pages of SKY, and personally worked with each contributor / advertiser to craft their message with their brand and desired outcomes in mind. I created a digital platform for SKY to move it from the mailbox into our readers’ hands more eloquently. I also added a marketing and social media component for the businesses that supported SKY, personally promoting them, their businesses and their products on the SKY social media platform. In 2014, I began looking at SKY from true magazine perspective, since that was my intention from the beginning – to create a magazine that tells the story of who we are through the eyes and experiences of the inspired. I looked to Magazines Canada for a model, adopted the policies and made editorial changes to the extent that I could based on the financial implications of the print environment. I



submitted application to become part of Magazines Canada but the financial business model and the choices that I had to make accordingly that were driving the magazine created limitations, so I was not able to take SKY far enough and make the changes that Magazines Canada would have required.

emails. Checking my Instagram feed. Posting. Communicating. Reading. My phone has officially become part of my life and business. Readers are reading online more and more. Is there a place for print? Yes, but it is becoming an individual choice to print or not to print.

However, I continued to evolve the model to strengthen the magazine, moving to a 70/30 split on advertising versus editorial. Since 2014 the front cover space has not been available for purchase, and has been created out of SKY’s editorial vision.

SKY is a boutique business. Boutiques are famous for their service experience and individualized attention. And so we must be to be successful and relevant to our clients. From an advertising business perspective, my clients want to stand out. They do not want to be lost in a sea of advertisements, stuck somewhere on page 68 in an inside corner. They want to be seen. They want to be shared. They want to be marketed. And that’s what I do, passionately.

SKY does not sell advertising. We sell spaces in which to play. With each space, I work directly with the client to define how that space should be used for advertising. I have been the sole strategist and writer. I have also created a social media platform to market my clients post print, and into the digital world of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other amazing places. The cover of our Winter 2015 issue was a harbinger of change, with a woman walking and turning her back to convention. The image was gifted to SKY by Lisa Wicklund, designer.

So it’s time that we called a spade a spade. The magazine has to evolve to match the value proposition for all concerned – our readers, our clients, and our very viability. Inspiration is what SKY is all about. And possibility. And exploring new places. SKY is about being seen.

As a business strategist, I see that the world is changing. That dollars are getting tighter for businesses to spend in print, that the market is already over populated in terms of advertising that people are rejecting “flyers” in their mailboxes.

This issue, I am so pleased to share our first “magazine” featuring a strengthened editorial vision to inspire and raise the profile of the inspired and the visionaries who are changing the world on a daily basis.

The print industry is changing too, and the cost is becoming prohibitive. Twenty years ago, when I was in journalism school with Jim McKenzie, the now deceased professor who taught me more than I could appreciate at the time, the web had just begun to show itself. It was unknown as to what it would be. Our classes would ruminate on the business model that was going to drive the World Wide Web, and how that would translate to the journalism environment. I just have to look at my own life to know and understand the impact of the way we distribute, share and assimilate information. It is a function of two things: less time and more access to information literally at our fingertips.

I am so honoured to share the story and the work of Brenda Rossow-Kimball, a woman who works tirelessly to improve the lives of people with complex disability. Brenda is also a guest contributor in this issue.

I love print magazines. I love the feeling of paper in my hands, and I love the way a new magazine smells. But on my coffee table right now is a stack of magazines that I haven’t been able to read. What am I doing when I sit down? Reading my

Read the issue on your tablet, and share it with your friends and family. If you do choose to download the PDF to print, please keep the planet in mind. Sincerely and without further adieu,

Lynn Armstrong Publisher SKY Magazine






3221 Quance Street East Regina SKYmagazine: LIVING WELL SUMMER 2016







hat began as a friendship in elementary school is now Uforia Muse, a 17 year-old business that caters to the style fascinations of trend setting women. Together Carleen Rozon and Shalene Pederson, co-owners of UM bring the latest fashion trends to Regina. “The Uforia Muse style is for women who love to be on trend,” explains Carleen Rozon. We carry young brands but that does not mean that we dress young women alone.” From walking around the park, going to the beach, or attending an event, UM is the place where women of all ages can find something. Uforia Muse began in 1999 with vintage clothing. They then started making vintage – inspired t-shirts, and evolved to sporty women’s wear. Today, Uforia Muse is dressing women who love to be on trend during the day or night at a moment’s notice. Carleen and Shalene opened the first Uforia Muse in 1999 on 13th Avenue. In 2013, they expanded into east end of city on Quance Street. In 2015, they launched a pop up in Downtown Regina on the Scarth Street Mall to test the downtown market. “We are always looking to grow and expand what we can offer to the market to meet the ever expanding love of fashion that women of all ages possess. Women, regardless of age, dress for themselves. There are no lines. It’s really about a personal expression of style,” adds Shalene. The diversity of the Uforia Muse experience is reflected in the character and brands each of their shops. The 13th Avenue Cathedral location where it all began in 1999 possesses the charms of an old house. It was the perfect place for their love of vintage to come to life. As Carleen and Shalene evolved the business, and started reaching out to new markets, their lines expanded to include sporty women’s wear. In 2013, Uforia Muse opened in Regina’s East shopping district on Quance Street, where the vibe is upbeat, polished and contemporary. Keeping up on trends is a daily job. The youth – inspired market is constantly changing and UM is constantly buying to keep the store fresh and vibrant. Carleen and Shalene keep their eye on the latest fashion trends from Los Angeles.

Uforia Muse East 3247 E Quance St Regina 306 779 2228 uforiamuse east


Uforia Muse 3024 13th Ave Regina 306 569 2228 uforiamuse










left to right Lynn Armstrong, Owner and Zoeist at Large, Sara Armstrong, Curator, Purchaser and Retail Design Artist, with her Shar Pei Angela Waffles. Photos by Shawn Fulton, Greg Huszar


t’s been 140 days since I became the new owner of the grand dame of shoes, Zoe’s Boutique. The brand and shop have undergone a radical transformation from the environment to the product to the experience. I have been a customer of Zoe’s all my life. It has been ‘my store’, like it has been and still is for countless others. And now it truly is my store, and this is our story. We all have a Zoe’s story about a pair of shoes that we bought to celebrate a beginning, or an ending, a special event, or just an escape. Zoe’s has been the place where women come to get shoes for their life, from power shoes (that’s a 4 inch closed toe pump in case you are wondering), to shoes that just make walking down the street an event. My vision is to take this business to its natural next level as a legendary place where people come to find shoes and amazing objects that carry them through all the parts of their lives. That’s right. You read it right. Legendary.





The Transformation Strategy includes a new brand (ZĂ–E), and an urban contemporary shopping experience in a minimalist aesthetic. The strategy commenced February 15, beginning with a renovation that was complete by February 28 and an expanded product line of shoes, apparel and objects for both men and women. Under the creative vision of Internationally recognized fashion designer and installation artist Sara Armstrong, our shoppe has been renovated





to pay homage to the original architecture of the building, revealing original 1906 stone floors, and to reflect the spirit of an imaginary play space of a theatre environment. By March 15, the new brand, ZÖE was created with the help of Mike Woroniak of Arcas Advertising. The new ZÖE reflects a new shopping experience for women and men who appreciate a contemporary urban product collection and shopping experience. The new brand ZÖE (emphasis on the O) means “life, lived in shoes.” We are located in the Globe Theatre’s Prince Edward Building Circa 1906 on Scarth and 11th Avenue in the heart of downtown Regina. ZÖE has always been my store, and now it is our store. I hope you will come by to visit to make it yours. 126 – 1801 Scarth Street Regina 306.757.0888






ho is this?’ you might ask.

I am a woman. A mother. A wife. A teacher. A student. A friend. A professor. An adoptee. I am the daughter of hard-working farmers. I am tattooed. I am a self-identifying Indigenous woman. I am a writer. A storyteller. It is the storytelling that brings me into the pages of this issue of SKY. I live by stories. My tattoos tell stories of rural life, family, and moments that have moved me to tears. They are visible stories I boldy share with others about who I am. There are stories that others tell me about who I am, too. And, there are stories that I tell myself about who I am. All of these stories shape me. Stories are constructed by others around us and by the experiences we have in relation to others. I believe we are all shaped by stories. Familial stories tell us how a family should ‘be’ and teach us how to value and love one and other. Institutional narratives, like stories of school, tell us if we are adequate and if it is acceptable to be ourselves. Narratives such as these live within us. They are planted in us. The knowledge embodies us. We carry these stories in our bones. I live stories on different landscapes; at home, in the community, on campus. At home, my husband stories me as a strong, tenacious woman. His laughter tells me I am a comedian; his devotion tells me we will survive anything as long as we are together. He stories me as someone who

is of worth. My daughter, 3 year-old Wilder Grace, stories me as a friend when she needs to safeguard her secrets. I am a haven when she snuggles into me during a cry; I am a playground when she climbs on me. I am her teacher when she follows in my steps, mimics my actions, and asks me questions of the world around her. My stories on the landscape of the academy are complex. Being a faculty member in Kinesiology and Health Studies for the last 12 years has storied me as an ‘expert’ to some, yet inexperienced and unproductive to others. Yet this is the landscape which creates space for me to share stories with the world. How the academy stories me causes me the greatest tension as this is the landscape of most uncertainty; some view stories as a waste of time while others see the value in this work. At times, narratives can be damaging. There are stories that others have told us about who we are that are hurtful, shameful, undignifying. In moments I have been storied as a bad mother, an unreliable wife, an inadequate teacher and colleague. I have been storied as weak. Unapproachable. Unfair.. Melancholic. (Ok, that last one is admittedly quite accurate.) Thankfully, I am able to choose the stories I live by. But this takes a great deal of work. It is much easier to believe the bad stories. It takes time to recompose bad narratives into good ones. To do this, one must reflect with great intention. My work in the community has taught me that others are not able to choose the stories they live by. Some live by institutional stories due to a label that was assigned to them. Labels of disability allow access to services and supports, but can also compose narratives of segregation and isolation; of deviancy and danger; of management and intervention; of inadequacy and helplessness. I have the privilege to walk alongside leaders in the province who disrupt notions of disability. They are awake to the institutional narratives that have composed people’s lives. Stories of inadequacy, hopelessness, dependency, and deficits - often told by ‘experts’ – are narratives too often espoused of others without us considering an alternative. Perceptions of who a person with a disability is, or what their potential might be, are composed for us. This is a long-standing institutional narrative. We embody this story. It lives in our bones.



left Photo Credit: Lindsey Jane Photography, Whitefish Montana




SKYmagazine: 22 SKYmagazine: LIVING WELL SUMMER LIVING 2016 WELL SUMMER 2016

I have the privilege to walk alongside leaders in the province who disrupt the notions of disability.

Creative Options Regina (COR) At Creative Options Regina (COR), I have the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors. Our efforts are focused on the dignifying of lives. We dignify lives by developing relationships with those we support. Kindness, patience, unconditional caring, engagement, and gentleness are what we believe in. So often, many of the individuals supported by COR have come to our doorstep with institutional narratives. Their stories are complex, presented to us in a way that is not dignifying to their life. They have been dismissed by others because they have been described as unmanageable, impossible, and ungrateful. Some individuals have arrived with their belongings stuffed into garbage bags, while others arrive with nothing at all. File folders containing stories of behaviours, defects, and expert-prescribed management practices arrive shortly after. If we chose to rely solely on the files, a framework for our interactions with the person would be imposed. The institutional narrative that has followed them may also embody them; it would embody us, too. Although at times helpful, files are just files. What is most important is the person. We know that behaviours are narrative expressions that tell a story of who we are and the context in which we live. The context is comprised of the characters in our lives and the places where we spend out time. So often, behaviours are tied to the context. Context composes the stories we live by. And so, at COR our work is quite simple, really. Change the context; change the story. So often, we are asked to produce ‘measureable outcomes’ to prove our methods. I always say that our measurable outcomes are ‘lives’… people are alive because of the caring and dignifying practices at COR. We focus on companionship and community. We believe everyone has intrinsic value. And we invite everyone we support to be involved in a very important project – the project of their lives.

Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished (Astonished!) At The Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished (Astonished!), I have the honor of learning from young adults experiencing complex physical disabilities and their families. Again, by serving on the Board of Connectors, I have learned that the institutional narrative offers few options for these young men and women to engage in an inclusive community. It may be because we are often too quick to accept deficits without considering potential. If we cannot look past one’s wheelchair, or assume that labored or lack of speech is a marker of incompetency, we tend to patronize and ignore. At Astonished!, parents, advocates, donors, volunteers, and support staff are working to disrupt notions of disability by helping the student researchers live a meaningful life focused on their strengths, dreams, and needs. Astonished! is a revolution. We work with great intention to achieve equality in the community for young adults experiencing complex physical disabilities. At Astonished!, we believe we are all better together.

George Reed Centre for Accessible Visual Communication (GRC) The George Reed Centre for Accessible Visual Communication (GRC) at the University of Regina is the focal point for Pictogram Visual Language research. Pictograms are visual images that assist individuals to communicate who do not use speech as a preferred form of communication. Currently, there are three research projects funded by the GRC investigating the usefulness of Pictograms on electronic devices (such as cell phones and tablets) to meet the communication needs of children, stroke patients, and culturally diverse





Imagine if everyone recognized the value of diversity.

groups. Community benefits, too, as the GRC has funded literacy programs and art-based projects to enable people experiencing disabilities to communicate in diverse and meaningful ways. As the Fellow for the GRC, I am hopeful that the outcomes of the GRC projects will demonstrate that communication is so much more than what we are currently familiar with – and traditionally accept. ‘So what?’ you might ask. I wonder how we might be able to tell more good stories about one and other. Perhaps it is the uncertainty we have about people with disabilities that permits us to dismiss them, at times. We are uncertain of abilities, communication, behaviours, and competence. We are uncertain of cognition, language, body structure, and skills. We are uncertain of strengths, dreams, and needs. It is human nature to fear uncertainty. Uncertainty causes stress. And we do everything we can do get away from it. We try to avoid it. We want to eliminate it. But what if we dwelled in the uncertainty instead? In the uncertainty, there exists possibility. If we recomposed

the institutional narratives that we have about people experiencing disabilities, we may shift old ways of thinking. Could this be possible? Could we embody new stories? Recompose the living-in-our-bones narratives about people experiencing disabilities? How might attitudes shift if we recomposed our own institutional narratives? Imagine for a moment, if we no longer had to advocate for inclusion. Imagine if universal design principles were used throughout our community to increase accessibility. Imagine if everyone recognized the value of diversity. What if we were open to engaging in various forms of communication? What if we created space for everyone to exercise their strengths and dreams? What if we consistently told others good stories about who they are… I know I could be better at telling stories. I will work harder to tell others good stories about who they are. And I will tell myself good stories about who I am, too. For if we cannot tell ourselves a good story, there is less hope in sharing one with someone else.



ASTONISHED! A Life Strategy for Young Adults with Complex Physical disAbilities. BY BON N IE CUMMINGS – VICKA RYO US FOUN DING E XEC UTIVE DIRE CTOR OF A STONISHE D !


pon graduating from high school, she feels that her days lack structure. She is unhappy with the lack of employment opportunities and is frustrated with existing day programs that do not fully meet her interests. She strives for people to understand and include her. She is Kaitlyn, a young woman with complex physical disAbility. “In our community, families of young adults with complex physical disAbilities share a desire to have relevant and meaningful ‘life’ opportunities that will adequately support the complex needs of their son(s) and or daughter(s)”, says Bonnie Cummings – Vickaryous, Founding Director of Astonished!. “Since 1982 when disability rights were included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms young adults with complex physical disAbilities1 have been pioneers in education and social inclusion. However, in our community (whose), there is a lack of personalized, inclusive, and meaningful employment, education, and recreation opportunities for young adults with complex physical disabilities when they graduate from high school at the age of 22.” In 2008 a group of families who were wanting additional opportunities for their children’s futures came together to begin working on the creation of The Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished! Inc. (Astonished!), a grassroots, userled organization. The work of Astonished! intends to create meaningful life experiences for young adults with complex physical disAbilities. Over 30 adults with complex physical disAbilities make up the Astonished! ‘Core Membership’2 and represent Astonished! Astonished! works to achieve a shared vision of community where everyone belongs and where young adults with complex

physical disAbilities can share their dreams, explore their strengths, and lead others to a more authentically inclusive society. Efforts are focused to address barriers so young adults with complex physical disAbilities can engage in teaching and learning, experience social/recreational/cultural events, and develop opportunities for accessible employment. Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Regina, Astonished! and the University collaborate on research and inclusion opportunities. This reciprocal partnership provides great opportunities for young adults with complex physical disAbilities and the U of R student body, faculty, and staff to learn from each other. We demonstrate a model for social inclusion in an accessible post-secondary education environment. Working together, Astonished! and the University identify common interests within the framework of the strategic plan peyak aski kikawinaw.. As such, the new fiveyear MOU (May 1, 2015-April 30, 2020) will see us working together to: • Develop Inclusion Education workshops for students enrolled in variois faculties; • Create, implement, and evaluate teaching, learning, and research opportunities related to social inclusion and other areas of mutual interest with students, staff, and faculty; • Create opportunities for students and faculty to increase their personal and professional capacities to learn, work, and play with people who experience with disAbilities; • Ensure that the U of R is supportive in locating, confirming, and sustaining accessible physical campus space to be used by Astonished! for its programming.

Similar to the World Health Organization, we identify complex physical disAbility based on the supports required by young adults to express their full capacities. This usually includes fully accessible buildings, accessible transportation, inclusive community, creative life opportunities and assistance with personal care, mobility, communication, eating, and medical and health care. Common disAbilites that would be labelled as complex physical disAbilities typically include severe cerebral palsy, bulbar palsy and muscular dystrophy. 1

Core Members are young adults aged 18-35 years with complex physical disAbilites and who support the dream, vision, and guiding principles of Astonished. Since 2011 the Astonished Core Membership has grown to 35 young adults. Core Members are from Regina Saskatchewan and surrounding rural communities. See Appendix A for pictures of our Core Members at Astonished programs. 2

A student researcher is the term we use to identify Core Members who participate in our programs at the University of Regina.




back row left to right Past Chair - Ruth Blaser, President and Vice-Chancellor front left to right Core Members Kelsey Culbert, Rebekah Lindenbach, Kennen Dorgan, Pascal Erickson and Kaitlyn Hoar

Astonished! Person Centered Initiatives

The combined efforts of the Astonished! Core Members, their support networks, Astonished! personnel, and the partnership with the University of Regina has resulted in four personcentered initiatives. 1. The Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre(A!TLC) The A!TLC is a place where young adults with complex physical disAbilities become Student Researchers3. Established in January 2013, A!TLC provides unique opportunities designed around each individual’s particular strengths, dreams, and needs. Some dreams of the Student Researchers include ‘becoming a fiction and non-fiction writer’, ‘learning new things to help me move forward in my life’, ‘being part of the university life’ ‘increasing employment related skills’ ‘self growth and discovery’, ‘ having the opportunity to socialize with peers my age’ and ‘teaching others about the experience of disAbility’.


Astonished! staff support each Student Researcher as they determine and navigate a program PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) unique to them. The work within A!TLC is designed around each Student Researcher’s PATH and their identified strengths, dreams, and needs. In addition, Student Researchers are leaders and work with the University community in research, teaching, and delivering presentations about disAbility and inclusion. 2. Astonished! Social Club Astonished! works with a five member planning team (The Astonished! Leadership Team) comprised of vibrant young adults with and without complex physical disAbilities to plan and carry out monthly inclusive, social, recreational, and physically active events for the Astonished Core Members, volunteers, and the wider community. Astonished! staff mentor this team to increase their leadership and program planning skills (assessing, planning, promoting, implementing, evaluating, etc.). The team actively recruits





We operate on a model of combined funding with 80% of our annual budget coming from the generosity of the community through personal donors, foundations, grants and businesses. Each year Astonished! staff and volunteers raise a minimum of $200,000 so our Core Members can experience inclusive community.

left Student Researcher- Rebekah Lindenbach top left Core Member - Ryan Matheison and Volunteer- Stephanie Bailey top right Summer Student - Angel Genereux and Student Researcher - Kennen Dorgan. Photos provided by Astonished!

and orients university students (volunteers) to assist with event implementation. The Social club has 2 events that are offered monthly, with 1 event being an adapted hip-hop initiative and a 2nd event that changes each month. These events provide a great avenue for building inclusive community as Core Members gather with and meet new friends, potential Core Members have a chance to join in on the fun and see what Astonished! is all about, and university students have a chance to be part of a community, form meaningful relationships, and gain valuable experience in inclusion. 3. Astonished! Literacy Program Astonished! is researching, developing, and delivering literacy services/programs specific to the strengths, dreams, and needs of Core Members. Consistent with the academic literature, Core Members and their families have reported that they have limited traditional literacy skills, below average literacy skills, and/or are in need of dedicated time (with support) to continue to work on/utilize their literacy skills. Core Members have expressed an interest in enhancing their technology skills, including becoming more familiar with iPads/tablets, apps, email, texting and social media, all of which have become essential to social inclusion. In the summer of 2013 Astonished! offered a pilot program to explore and respond to the strengths, dreams, and needs of five Core Members. Some of their diverse literacy dreams included ‘developing pre-literacy skills’, ‘enhancing existing

skills’, ‘having more time to read and/or use various forms of technology’, and ‘increasing numeracy skills’. The program is now offered annually July through August, two afternoons a week, accommodating between 7 and 10 Core Members. 4. Path to Future Endeavors Astonished! is currently determining a way to learn more about Core Members strengths, dreams, and, needs as they relate to vocation and to ultimately create a responsive community to support the individual vocation goals of young adults with complex physical disAbilities. Currently we are exploring and responding to the vocation dreams of a few of our members by: • Partnering with a private organization to support the vocation dream of Core Member Ryan Ross. Ryan lives in Regina and is a resident at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre. He is extremely adept at Facebook and holds the position of the Astonished! Facebook Manager. With this position, Ryan is responsible for the content that appears on the Astonished! Facebook page. • Contracting with the Astonished! Leadership Team to plan monthly events for the Astonished! Social Club. Two members of this team are Astonished! Core Members. • Mentoring Kelsey Culbert, another Core Member, as a member of the Astonished! Program Advisory Committee and to help her develop skills related to public speaking, leadership, and promotion.



Creative Options Regina (COR)

top row left-right Laura Berry, Ruby Walker, Jaime Carter, Jessie McGowan, Jeff Stettner, Ted Heittola, Heath Wright, Lavina Doka, Diandra Nicolson, Brooklyn Ruecker bottom row left - right Ruby Walker, Michael Lavis, Tyler Fletcher-Hall, Angie Hawke, Aileen Stelwagen, Andrew Ronnie, Michael Lavis, Reid McKone, Michael LaFramboise, Christine Heffernan



Celebrating the Intrinsic Value of Every Individual.

“Rooted in the philosophy of Gentle Teaching, COR Strives to strengthen the fabric of companionship and community for all those we serve.”

Creative Options Regina (COR) 1162 Osler Street, Regina. Sask.



The Astra


“I’ve got your back” 32


says the subject line of her email. “Your accounts are where they should be, up 2.5%.” Zena Amundsen built Astra Financial after more than 10 years in a brokerage. Astra is a boutique financial planning and investment company that prides itself on maintaining and growing relationships with clients, and working with them to ensure their portfolio thrives through the ebb and flow of life. In the boutique world, whether it’s shoes or money, the end-to-end experience requires a clear focus on the vision, and how to execute every single interaction and action.

Part of the Astra magic is Zena herself, who brings a level of personal care and honesty to the table that comes from a place where she once found herself vulnerable. Zena’s practice is based on an attitude of abundance, which she describes as working in prudent possibility, with a clear understanding of the vision in mind. The other part of the Astra magic is the people with whom she surrounds herself. Kristina Jackson came to Astra after a career in the cooperative sector. Linda George brings a background in financial services and communications. Together, this team makes it possible to deliver the personal service for which Astra is known. Peak Financial Services manages the client portfolio.

ZENA AMUNDSEN, ON HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO 1. What is the thing that people like to avoid when planning? Looking at the ins and outs of their monthly finances. This is something that we do when we start with a financial plan. We need to review and gather everything and getting someone to sit and review this part is the hardest. There are so many emotions involved, no matter what amount of money you make or spend. 2. What does the concept of living well mean to you? This comes back to my philosophy of – quality versus quantity. To me, living well means living with freedom and free of clutter in life and business. I like to keep things simple. My relationships are simple. I care deeply about everyone I surround myself with – professionally and personally. I do not have room for complication and questionable friendships and associates. My home is simple – no room for clutter. Our belongings are simple. This lifestyle allows for freedom to do the things that we want to do without complication or restriction. It’s about a life that is right for us and reflects our priorities.

3. What were the steps that you took to make the change that you needed to make to have the life that you want? It took a few years of investigating and convincing my family. We watched a few documentaries, read a lot of books, and researched. Mostly it took time to come to terms with the loss of “things”. You know the 10 boxes of keepsakes in the basement that were really just there out of emotional laziness – not addressing the sentiment of time passed. We decided to downsize our home as part of our simplifying. We had a lot of family meetings and discussions as to whether we could live with only two bathrooms (not four) and two televisions. Seriously! I had to include everyone and make sure we had the same vision. It is a team effort to simplify. Not everyone has to downsize their house to simplify. It can be small changes in your every day life like tracking your time and prioritizing to make more time for something important to you, or a tech-free Sunday with no cell phones allowed. 4. What advice would you give to someone looking to make similar change in their life? The best advice I can give is to make a family mission statement that prioritizes what is important to everyone. What is your family vision three years from now? Five years from now? Is it to spend more time with each other? Plan a vacation every year? Is it to live debt free with freedom? Only then can you map out the steps to get there.

Astra Financial Services 2310 College Avenue Regina 306.522.7888


left to right Linda George, Zena Amundsen, Kristina Jackson. Photo: Greg Huszar SKYmagazine: LIVING WELL SUMMER 2016





hen I need to think, I purge.

I can feel when it’s about to happen. I get anxious, my mind feels cluttered and I need something new. And it’s not a thing that I need in those moments, but instead the heightened awareness of all the things that serve no purpose in my life. What I need in those moments is space, and distance from everything around me. I need new energy, and fresh corners to explore in my mind and the area around me. I start feeling claustrophobic because there is too much around me and not enough space for my own energy. And so I start purging. It begins with my space. I throw out clothing, donate old furniture, and rearrange everything that has been still for too long. And then I write, and after all the chaos inside me has been exerted into creating more spaces around me, I inhale. Deep yoga breaths, all the way to my core. Everything feels new again, and everything around me has a purpose. And then I feel light. And that is how it should be. Our lives are cluttered, and too often we don’t realize that the spaces we spend our days in become a reflection of our inner selves. When my apartment looks like chaos, it’s inevitable that I too will begin feeling a little less inner peace. I become more exhausted, less inspired, more lethargic and less creative. I lose myself in the mess of it all. About a year ago, I realized that something needed to change. I just owned to much stuff! A shoe sale here, a few impulse dresses there and an abundance of kitchen appliances had me feeling… well, heavy. There was no negative space around me, and for someone who has such a hectic and all-over-the-place-mind, I couldn’t function without negative space. My thoughts needed room, and as strange as that sounds, they didn’t have any in those four walls. There is a high chance that most of us are like that. There is a reason that “spring cleaning” exists and a reason for why so many of us prefer the solitude of coffee shops. Clutter is distraction, and distraction takes up space that we could instead use to manifest our dreams. When I decided to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle, I was nervous. I liked things. I liked owning a new outfit for everyday of



the month, and enough shoes to fill a library. But I found that the more clothing and things that I owned, the less time that I had. For starters, I was always cleaning. Because I had so much clothing, and so many “maybes” in my closet I would try on 6 outfits every morning before I found the one. And the “no’s”? I would leave them on my floor. By the end of the week, my room and closet looked like it was rampaged by a tornado. And then more than the cleanup, was the up keep. I was always doing laundry, or ironing or tidying in some way. And because most of the clothing was middle-to-low price range, I always had to replace something. One day, I just decided it that was enough. I spent too much time at a 9-5 to spend my evenings and weekends cleaning. So I did what I always did when I needed to create mental space – I purged. All the way from my sock drawer, to how many hangers I had, and even my jewelry Everything that didn’t bring me joy, or make me feel good was donated. And when my room was done, I went and cleared out my kitchen cabinets and donated all the products that were under used. More than space in my condo, more than the order, what I appreciated was the time I had just created for myself. After a few weeks of living with this new sense of minimalism, I decided to make a strategic buying plan. I chose to invest in my closet. I wanted a wardrobe that would carry me effortlessly through the seasons, and that would grow with me. I splurged on staples from small boutiques and cut back on how much I owned. And that was the best part – I wasn’t sacrificing styling by only owning a few pieces. Instead, I was creating look for myself. I was developing my own style. I’ve never wanted to be one of those people that sways and moves with each new trend. I wanted to be classic, like Audrey Hepburn or a pearl necklace. And buy developing an investment wardrobe, through my pursuit of minimalism, I was becoming just that. For me, leaving behind fast fashion and embracing boutiques and a minimalist life taught me to love the art of fashion. It also taught me to not attach myself to what I owned. I no longer held on to things I didn’t need or didn’t use. I stopped over shopping and over spending and found that by not putting making emotionally charged decisions as one typically does with impulse shopping, I was more in control. And when you start taking more control of your life, beautiful things begin to happen my friend So do it. Decide that this is your life, and take control.





On the day of emancipation, wear gold shoes.



ive years ago I officially left the corporate world behind with the stroke of a pen. On that day, I remember I was wearing a double breasted navy suit and gold Calvin Klein sling backs. I asked my lawyer when “this” would be over, and he said “today”, to which I replied, “well it’s a good thing that I wore my gold shoes today.” Emancipation might seem like a strong word, usually preserved for human rights and freedoms kind of events, and I don’t want to reduce the importance of those events by borrowing the word to describe my freedom, but it was, and is, a mammoth event in my life. I had worked in the corporate world from 1996 after graduating from the School of Journalism & Communications at the University of Regina. My career began as a student communications officer writing copy for a federal crown from Monday to Friday, and writing features and chasing fire trucks for the local newspaper on the weekends. As a reporter, my job was seek out information. As a communicator and planner, my job was to be at the table and facilitate and share the information. It was my curiosity that carried me through my career as I wanted to know why things worked the way they did. Why and how decisions were made, and who made them. From a communications officer to a policy analyst (although at the time I really didn’t understand that title), to a corporate planner in the credit union sector, and finally an executive in another crown corporation in 2008, every day was about strategy, direction and communication. I felt very lucky most days. I was invited to the table and learned from some of the best and brightest business minds. I saw how an Act can be changed at the federal level, wrote national business strategies, wrote and won awards for annual reports, corporate plans and a social responsibility framework. I was the back up dancer in most cases, as my executive reaped the rewards of my efforts. I was paid and promoted, but that’s how the corporate dance works. Corporate decisions happened along the way, but they were business, not personal. But then one day, it became personal. Something happened that changed me. And changed my life. What I would accept from it. I call it “The Rain of Nails”. I had to speak out. On June 15, 2011, I walked away from a 20 year career that I once thought would take me to the end of my working life.

The emotional roller coaster ensued. I wish I could say it was easy. It wasn’t. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and it still is. On that day, I found myself literally looking out at the rest of my life not knowing what I would do. I had always had ideas and dreams, like most people do, but my life had been consumed in other people’s dreams and visions and their words, not my own. So I had to find my own words, and my own way. And I am. I have looked upon that day many ways . . . sometimes with regret (why didn’t I just suck it up again), sometimes with disdain, sometimes I count the money that I have not made since that day . . . What have I done with my freedom? I purged, and I have written my way through it and in doing so, found my voice and my way. I published a book about freedom to purge the thoughts and stories that were holding me back (How to be Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond), followed my love of words and story telling to become an entrepreneur publisher of SKY Magazine now in its fifth year and third metamorphosis, and created a consulting company, Lynear Thinking to assist entrepreneurs, social organizations and cooperatives in finding their way. In 2016, I ventured into the shoe boutique business, reinventing a 29 year old brand under the new name ZÖE which means “life lived in shoes.” I seek out the inspired and the inspiring and surround myself with them. I follow my curiosity and instincts. I teach and practice yoga to find the possibility and the joy in the good things and the dreadful things, and to remind me that learning to fly is about holding on and letting go. To freedom seekers, I would like to say there has been no giant epiphany except for the one on that day when I decided that I would accept nothing less than to be treated with respect and dignity. There has been a journey. A practice of putting one foot in front of the other every day, and being open to the experience of each day, good and bad. Knowing what to hold on to, and what to let go of in a given moment. Remembering to breathe. Most days I have been afraid, but I take the steps anyway. Most days are about stepping off the precipice of my own making and flying. But this is my precipice. And that makes this day a celebration. Have a beautiful day.

Photo: Jackie Hall SKYmagazine: LIVING WELL SUMMER 2016




“I was inspired by the darkness of depression, and how it can change at times when we just remember to turn on the light. When we are young, we are full of light and joy. As we mature we slowly start to experience some dark times in life that can change one emotionally and mentally. We wanted to play with the androgynous side to me, playing with both masculine and femininity values.”



Guest Editor Eman Bare Special Report on the United State of Women Summit Beauty Tips from Around the World Photo Credits Creative Director, Stylist, Model Yanni Kalamaras Photography Jackie Hall Photography Makeup Clara Edvi-Antunes of The Makeup Lounge & Style Bar Hair Nilee Hannah of The Makeup Lounge & Style Bar

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SKY Magazine: Living Well in Saskatchewan  

Summer 2016