The U of R Press – new name, new media, great 1st book and a grand entrance
By Brian Bowman
'Clearing the Plains', the first publication of the newly formed University of Regina Press, has been long-listed for the BC Book Prize. The prize of $40,000 is the premiere non-fiction book prize in Canada. But winning is anything but a slam-dunk. All the other competitors - Penguin, Random House and Harper Collins, are multi-nationals – the big guys, really, really big.
Bruce Walsh, the newly appointed Director/ Publisher of the U of R Press, smiles like Tie Domi about that.
“Author James Daschuk has the only academic book on the list, and University of Regina Press is the only Canadian publishing house on the list,” said Walsh. “Clearing the Plains has also been named in the top 100 books of the year by the Globe and Mail, and is the only academic book on the list,” he added. The book was released in June of this year and is already in its third printing.
Why the all fuss? Well, the narrative is accessible to a broad audience, and the subject matter will rock you, especially if you’re a Canadian. 'Clearing the Plains' is a detailed and thoroughly researched study of the influences – loss of food sources, disease, culture shock and imperious federal policies that devastated 1st Nations on the plains. That history now characterizes the present, the author contends, because the present is a process that grows from the past. To encompass the problem and encourage remedial debate, you first need to recognize and articulate the historical influences - all of them. That’s what this book does. The synthesis of information in 'Clearing the Plains' makes a shocking revelation, and that’s why Bruce Walsh is enlisting innovative methods to promote it.
Walsh comes from mainstream publishing and has a maverick’s approach to marketing. “When I re-launched the press (formerly the Canadian Plains Research Centre) one of the things I wanted to do was break it out from the rest of the pack,” he said. He decided to make use of the internet and social media to put a little ‘rock and roll’ into the staid atmosphere of author signings and bookstore readings. “We got a grant from Creative Saskatchewan to produce a reality publishing show on our website,” he said.
Owing to its alarming revelation, scholarship and incendiary potential, 'Clearing the Plains' was chosen as the vehicle to drive the initiative forward, an obvious choice since it was already getting good reviews and was listed for a prestigious award. Moreover, it had a strong endorsement from Charlie Angus, Member of Parliament for James Bay/ Timmins who represents, among other constituents, the community (reserve) of Attawapiskat, recently in the news. Angus is also a member of the musical group the Grievous Angels. Having read the book he was inspired to write a song 'Four Horses' about the injustice it revealed. He contacted Walsh about it:
"If there is any way we can work together to promote the book I'd be more than willing to use the song for an online video to raise awareness. I worked hard within the confines of four verses - four horses, and a strict meter to try and convey some of the key elements people need to rediscover about their history,” he said.
Since Angus was going to be here for a NDP caucus meeting in September, local media producer, Don List, of Birdsong Communications, whose firm was engaged to shoot the series, agreed to produce a music video of Angus and his song. The video was shot on the scenic lands of Kinookimaw, near Regina Beach, in early September. David McLennan, and Duncan Campbell of the U of R Press selected still images and compiled the graphics for the production.
Some of the places you can obtain a copy of 'Clearing the Plains' from: U of R Press websitechapters.indigo.ca
Saturnalia Holiday Exhibition
November 21, 2013 to January 11, 2014
SLATE Fine Art Gallery
2078 Halifax Street
Saturnalia is an exciting Holiday Exhibition at SLATE! The gallery will be full of exciting offerings from their full complement of SLATE Fine Art Gallery artists: Ying-Yueh Chang, Victor Cicansky, Brad Copping, Troy Coulterman, Marc Courtemanche, Jack Cowin, Dennis Evans, Joe Fafard, Gabriela Garcia Luna, Richard Gorenko, Jody Greenman-Barber, Belinda Harrow, Michael Hosaluk, Laura Hosaluk, Melissa Kuntz, Jefferson Little, Bill Lobchuk, Janet Macpherson, Ward Schell, Brendan Schick, David Thauberger, Robert Truszkowski and Russ Yuristy.
SLATE Fine Art Gallery
ANDREW SALGADO: The Acquaintance
October 9-November 22, 2013
Art Gallery of Regina
Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre
Salgado is a young artist, born and raised in Regina, who began his art studies right here at the Neil Balkwill Centre. Since moving to London, England in 2008 he has been making a big name for himself internationally with sell-out shows in London, New York, and Ottawa. His assertive, gestural images explore issues of masculinity and identity. In this new body of work, Salgado strikes a interesting balance between realism and abstraction by prioritizing the property and quality of paint above his subject matter. The paintings in this exhibition are as much about the character of oil paint, as they are about the character of person who is modeling.
The title of this show comes from Sinead O'Connor's 'The Last Day of Our Acquaintance', a song that has long informed and inspired Salgado’s work.
Curated by Karen Schoonover
Artist Talk: Monday, October 21 – 7:30 pm
Reception: Tuesday, October 22 – 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend
Clint Neufeld: The Chandelier, the Trans-Am, the Peacock, the Greyhound and My
Grandmother’s China Cabinet
October 26, 2013 to January 12, 2014
Dunlop Art Gallery
RPL Sherwood Village Branch
6121 Rochdale Boulevarde
Artist Talk: Saturday, October 26, 12:00 pm, Sherwood Village Library Meeting Room
Opening Reception: Saturday October 26, 1:00 pm, Sherwood Village Gallery
Clint Neufeld’s exhibition, The Chandelier, the Trans-Am,
the Peacock, the Greyhound and My Grandmother’s
China Cabinet explores poignant imagery that has
strikingly affected Neufeld’s personal aesthetic as well as
his subjective identity. As a sculptor whose work has
sensitively paid homage to people and experiences that
have shaped aspects of his individuality, Neufeld layers
this investigation with work that acts as loci for memory,
desire and complex personal associations. This exhibition
is comprised of five lightboxes of intricately cut backlit
vinyl depicting the five named objects which together tell
a story of a boy-turned-man.
Clint Neufeld is a sculptor who works with concepts of masculine identity. Neufeld was born and raised in
small-town Saskatchewan. Prior to pursuing a career in art, Neufeld spent three years with the Canadian
military, which included a deployment to the former Yugoslavia in 1994, then trained to be a firefighter.
Neufeld began his BFA at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and finished at the University of
Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. In 2006 he completed his MFA at Concordia University. Neufeld has exhibited
nationally, and was included in the MASS MoCA’s Oh, Canada survey of contemporary Canadian art.
Neufeld works on an acreage near the town of Osler, Saskatchewan.
For more information, please contact:
Wendy Peart, Curator of Education and Community Outreach
Tel.: 306.777.6044, Email: email@example.com
Keep Kenderdine Campaign
Last November, the University of Saskatchewan announced it would close the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus for three years and then assess its future. Not everyone was pleased. Over its 70 year history, the Emma Lake artist complex has gained a wide reputation for its roll in developing Saskatchewan artists over all disciplines – even biologists and other earth study scientists. So, Keep Kenderdine, a group intent on sustaining the campus and its programming, was launched two months later.
Encouraged by the response, the group has now launched a support campaign by the same name to broaden public appeal. For more information on Keep Kenderdine and how you can help, visit their website at:
Dreams of Teeth - Noxious Sector
November 9 - December 14, 2013
Opening reception and performance:
November 9, 8:00 p.m.
Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum
1856 Scarth Street, Second Floor, Regina, SK
Dreams of Teeth is a speculative project that uses trance-induction techniques and hypnotic visualization to lead participants through a meditation in which their teeth fall out. Part relational challenge, part speculative experiment, Dreams of Teeth is one of several trance experiences being developed by Noxious Sector Arts Collective, under the project title "Nightmare Inductions."
This exhibition will include an induction room in which participants can experience the nightmare first hand, as well as artifacts and images from experiments conducted by members of the collective: Jackson 2bears, Ted Hiebert and Doug Jarvis.
In the days leading up to the opening Noxious Sector will also be conducting a haunting of Regina, focusing on the technical, social and metaphysical ways in which public space intersects with bodies, both real and imagined.
Noxious Sector is an ongoing collaborative endeavor by Canadian artists Ted Hiebert, Doug Jarvis and Jackson 2Bears, dedicated to the exploration of alternative cognitive function, the paranormal and the absurd. Conceived as a formalized forum for informal inquiry, Noxious Sector projects take the form of performances, curatorial initiatives and artistic collaborations.
Facebook event page
Buffy the Educator – an interview with author Blair Stonechild
By Brian Bowman
Ask people about Buffy Sainte-Marie and you’ll learn she’s a world-class singer and activist whose songs have a profound message for anyone with a heartbeat. If the speaker is from Saskatchewan, the response will also carry a measure of pride. But you can’t really claim her; Buffy is a universal force of nature.
Now, she’s the subject of a book by author and educator, Blair Stonechild. The new work is titled: Buffy Sainte-Marie: It’s My Way, and published by Fifth House Publishers. People who know think it’s a pretty good read – this Spring, it won the 20th Anniversary Saskatchewan Book Awards: Rasmussen, Rasmussen and Charowsky Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award.
“She’s been an inspiration to me for a long time and I think to others,” said Stonechild. “I used to hear a lot of her music when I was in university the back in the 60s and 70s. And it struck a chord. Years later, when I was looking for a writing research project, I realized her story hadn’t been fully told.”
Talented people often have a pursuit or skill that is eclipsed by their fame in popular culture. So it is with Buffy Sainte-Marie.
“She’s always had an interest in education, and that’s what she was training for before she got into singing,” said Stonechild. “She was one of the first to create a web-based education program where students in classrooms could communicate on the internet. This was in the mid to late 1980s. The site was called Cradleboard. It is still going, has grown quite a bit, and is very innovative educational programming. It’s one of her main pre-occupations apart from singing and she puts her own resources into maintaining it. There are hundreds of classrooms connected to it and thousands of students have gone through it. A resource for classrooms is basically what it is.
“It is focused on aboriginal people because she realizes, especially in the States, that the curriculum was not meeting their needs; the stuff they were being taught was not relevant. By doing this she enables students to connect online so they can learn directly from each other as well. She has always maintained that their history was not being told and that the culture was misunderstood,” said Stonechild. “I don’t see anything else online that rivals it in terms of innovative curriculum and actual interactive programming.”
And he should know. A member of the Muscowpetung First Nation, Dr. Blair Stonechild is Professor of Indigenous Studies at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) where he has taught for 32 years. An informed voice on Aboriginal history and policy, Indian land claims and treaty rights, Stonechild was appointed a Trustee of Canada’s national museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization from 1990 to 1998 and has assisted others. He has authored three books, Loyal Till Death (1997) The New Buffalo (2006) and his latest, the authorized biography of Buffy Sainte-Marie.
There is much to discover about this remarkable woman, and you’ll find it in Buffy Sainte-Marie: It’s My Way. The book is available online, at Chapters and the University of Regina book store.