By Donny White
On Sept. 22, 1969 the Saskatchewan flag, designed by Hodgeville School teacher Anthony Drake was officially proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. The upper green portion of the flag represents the northern parklands and forests, with the lower yellow portion representing the wheat lands. Our provincial flower, the Prairie Lily, is shown to the right of the flag with the Provincial Crest to the left. Fast forward 47 years to present day and the Hodgeville school, (now a multi-purpose facility and Inn owned by Gail & Mirek Hapanowicz) is hosting Mr. Drake in conjunction with the Chinook Regional Library on May 12. Mr. Drake’s Hodgeville stop is actually part of a provincial tour which kicked-off in Regina on May 10 and will continue until May 31 when he returns to England. As part of the Hodgeville programme, Acting Director of the Chinook Regional Library, Dr. Jean McKendry, will present Mr. Drake with two pillow cases sewn by upholster Jim Saville using the Saskatchewan Tartan as the cover.
On the subject of the Chinook Regional Library, Acting Director Mckendry has once again secured a major programme for the Maple Creek community. On Saturday, May 28, Sharon Butala ,award-winning author of sixteen books and recipient of countless awards, including the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and an Officer of the Order of Canada, will be in attendance at the Jasper Centre from 2–4 p.m. Butala will share with the audience readings from her latest book, “Wild Rose”. Many will remember Butala when she lived with her husband Peter on their ranch near Eastend – she presently lives in Calgary. Mark this date on your calendar as you don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear Butala discuss her latest achievement. An afternoon tea will be part of the event.
Plan to attend the premiere showing of The Grasslands Project in Eastend on Saturday, May 14 at the Memorial Hall 7 p.m. This project was created by filmmaker Scott Parker, along with NFB executive producer David Christensen and is a collection of ten short films exploring the grasslands of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Premiere showings will be given in nine communities beginning in Coutts and ending in Eastend – each community will show the film(s) tailored to their area. It is fitting to host the finale in Eastend, as this is where Parker established his base of operations while filming. He lived in the town for six months while shooting and editing and spent about two months on the road in a specially equipped truck or “mobile Production unit”. In each community he sought input and feedback, offered media workshops and included local folklorist and writer Kristin Catherwood when applicable. Once again the NFB leads the way in producing quality documentaries that continue to garner it recognition and awards from around the world.
Throughout the month of May, Shaunavon’s Grand Coteau Heritage and Cultural Centre is featuring watercolours by Medicine Hat artist, Linda Carney. Carney is the former Curator of Art at the Medicine Hat Museum and Art Gallery (now the Esplanade). Carney’s work has been featured both in solo and group exhibitions in major galleries across this country. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and the University of Lethbridge, Carney is one of the few Alberta artists recognized by the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour. This prestigious Society was formed in 1925 and includes many illustrious Canadian painters in this medium. Carney’s work is found in private and Gallery collections throughout this country. Kudos to Wendy Thienes, the Director of the Shaunavon facility for securing this show for her gallery – her curatorial talent is evident in the number of interesting exhibits and programmes featured at the Centre.
If you find yourself in Medicine Hat and looking for something to do, visit the Esplanade Gallery and view the School Art 2016 exhibit. This exhibition has been a tradition for 38 years. It has grown from 50 pieces of work to over 700 selected from 40 schools in the city and region. Paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, and Gift Barn is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday and “other days by chance” and provides the visitor with the opportunity to view some “unique merchandise.”
Don’t forget to support the Fort McMurray fundraiser sponsored by Howard and Roxanne Wong of Howard’s Bakery. Purchase one of their specially-designed cookies for $2 with proceeds going to the relief efforts of the Alberta community.