They know about it around the world. They come from across the country, the continent and, in some cases, from overseas to be a part of it. It's the Saskatchewan Festival of Words. It's on this weekend in Moose Jaw.

Authors, writers, musicians, poets and others are here to read, share and perform for us and learn from each other.

I'll bet at some point over the next several days they'll all hear about Gary Hyland. The Saskatchewan Festival of Words started with a dream back in the 90's. A local man- a teacher and author, told everyone who would listen that he wanted to create this festival. Not many gave it a chance. He said we could build a cultural centre with room for artists to work and show with a performing arts theatre. Then we'd have this festival with the potential to draw international attention. He made it happen.

Gary Hyland lost his battle with ALS some six years ago now. I'll always remember his passion and tenacity and all of us should appreciate the legacy he left.

SFOW & Dylan

I want to call it a strange coincidence but really, it's more like a beautiful, perfect synchronicity.

Novelists, poets, story tellers, singers and musicians are coming together to celebrate at this week's Saskatchewan Festival of Words in Moose Jaw.  And, on Saturday night at Mosaic Place, many of them and the rest of us have an opportunity to be entertained by the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.  He is the first songwriter to receive the prestigious award.

Bob Dylan was honoured for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

I think it's safe to say this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for us to take it all in.

The Saskatchewan Festival of Words is on Thursday through Sunday with Bob Dylan and his Band on stage at Mosaic Place on Saturday night.  It's all happening.  

Oh, and by the way, there are tickets available today for all of the above.

City News, Views & Reviews

She was passionate about her work on city council and now former councilor Heather Eby engages people with a Facebook page called City News, Views and Reviews.

She generated some interesting comments when she asked, "To all the people who want the city to compensate the property owners affected by the severe slumping on south hill, how much of a tax increase are you willing to accept?...I'm just curious."

Eby got a number of people responding, including Drew, who said, "I'm not willing to pay anything for people's houses...."

Jen says, "...It's been going on for  years...so why are they surprised now."

And Ryan says, "Give each resident an empty lot.  Costs the city next to nothing. Those residents can now move the house to this vacant lot..."

I like the way Ryan thinks.

Batters / Sklar

It's all over social media but I'm not sure you've all heard about the deplorable things he said and how she reacted.

Brian Sklar, best known for his skills as a musician, has strong ties to the NDP.  He, in fact, is a former NDP candidate who has, at times, worked for the party.  In an exchange on social media, Sklar wrote some absolutely awful things.

His target was Conservative Party of Canada Senator Denise Batters.  Sklar said, and I quote, "Interesting coming from a Harper troll who is only sitting in the Red Chamber because her husband, the MP, committed suicide...Take a hike, Denise.  Only Tory Trolls take you seriously."

Among the comments In a terse reply, Senator Batters said "...my husband's suicide is not a topic of discussion for you to score cheap and misinformed political points...Take your vitriol elsewhere."

I used the word "deplorable" to describe Sklar's behaviour.  Others are using much stronger language.   


Sidewalk Days...underway in downtown Moose Jaw.  That reminds me of one of my favourite stories.  I've told it before.

It was years ago now, before our new, downtown arena was finished.  I had a passionate and animated conversation with a long time acquaintance who told me he would NEVER go to an event at Mosaic Place.  "Parking" was the issue.  This intelligent  man said it was a mistake to build it downtown.  He liked the way the Civic Centre was set up with plenty of parking nearby.

I tried to explain how it would work.  How we'd never have to face traffic line-ups after hockey games and concerts and that we wouldn't have to walk much further than we did before.

He wasn't buying it.  I was frustrated.  

Then, he says "Hey, maybe I'll see you down at Sidewalk Days?"

I said, "Oh, you're going to Sidewalk Days?"

He says "Ya, tonight...you?"

I said "Nope, there's no parking."

You see what I did there?

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