W.P. Kinsella

My favourite moments during the Saskatoon Word on the Street reading by W.P. Kinsella.

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Wonderful Word on the Street

What a fantastic event this was! On a gorgeous sunny September Sunday, Saskatoon’s Word on the Street event showcased some brilliant writers, big names, local names, big local names, unusual personalities, and old friends. You really must check it out the next time it’s in your community, or anywhere nearby! If you love reading, writing, and the spoken word, you must go. It’s free!

First, I really enjoyed Margaret Trudeau; such a familiar name for so many years! Here she was, and an engaging if not breathless autobiography that I found fascinating.

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After Maggie, we sat fresh faced in the front row for a reading by W.P. Kinsella, with our pal Yann Martel hosting. W.P. read from his newest work, The Essential W.P. Kinsella, and entertained us with some wonderful, funny and sad stories. His book, Shoeless Joe, was the basis for the movie Field of Dreams. Later, we had him sign our books and he slipped Jim a signed baseball. Wow.

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And if all this wasn’t enough, we got to have a chat with our old buddy Chef Michael Smith. Michael wrote the preface to the book Erin (our daughter) and I wrote in 2005, Breaking Bread, Nourishing Connections. Michael’s got a new cookbook out, Make Ahead Meals, and it was good to catch up with him. His new venture as owner of the place where he got his start,the Inn at Bay Fortune, is now firmly written on our ‘to go’ list.

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And if all that still wasn’t enough, we got to spend a little time listening to my old creative writing prof and one of my favourite authors, Guy Vanderhaeghe, who talked about short story writing. I’m looking forward to reading his newest, Daddy Lenin.

What. A. Day.

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Word on the Street. Brilliant. Our thanks to everyone who made it happen. Already looking forward to next year.

The face of real community

18-year-old Madeline Stuart, a “beautiful, bubbly redhead” from Australia, is already a professional model. This week, she flew to New York for Fashion Week and hit the runway. Great coverage (I wish they didn’t refer to her as a “Down’s model.” Her whole campaign is about changing the way people think about someone with a disability, so why not just call her a model?) Check out the piece from Huffington Post.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Model Madeline Stuart walks the runway at Hendrik Vermeulen Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal on September 13, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 13: Model Madeline Stuart walks the runway at Hendrik Vermeulen Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal on September 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  (L-R) Models Jesse Pattison, Madeline Stuart and Ben Pulchinski are seen backstage of Hendrik Vermeulen show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal on September 13, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Models Jesse Pattison, Madeline Stuart and Ben Pulchinski are seen backstage of Hendrik Vermeulen show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal on September 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)

And catching up fast, meet this litttle Englishwoman. Well on her way to a modeling careeris two-year-old Connie-Rose, featured in The Mighty. Her mum nailed it when she told The Daily Mail, “Connie-Rose’s disability does not define who she is…Connie-Rose has Down syndrome, it’s not that she is Down syndrome.”

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Years ago, encouraged by writer and parent Emily Perl Kingsley, I wrote lots and lots of letters to the marketing directors of lots and lots of companies, asking when we’d see people with disabilities reflected in their ads and commercials. Emily said if we never ask, and ask over and over again, people with disabilities will never be represented as a legitimate part of the community with purchasing power. People with disabilities and their families are consumers just like everyone else. But until we convinced the marketers of clothes, cars, perfume, shaving cream, toys, homes, food, health care, education… of that fact, we’d never see our friends and family members reflected back at us. And now here we are! There have been few and far between examples in recent years, but with high profile events like the NYFW, modeling contracts and a spotlight on who they are, not what they have, Madeline and Connie-Rose can start showing off the face of real community.

Great day for the Street Fair

A glorious day at the Broadway Street Fair. Rick, Jim and I volunteered to be a Green Team and picked up trash (kudos to everyone; there was very little!) 30 degrees and heaps of hungry wasps, though, with all the empty pop cans and food around. I saw a woman actually smack a little baby in the face to get rid of one – and it wasn’t even her baby 🙂

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I collected some photos for the Broadway Business Improvement District. This was one of my favourites, the folk dancers showing fine form in the afternoon.

Good job Sarah, the BBID staff and volunteers. A great day.

Antique love

Find a copy of this fall’s Saskatoon HOME magazine (online or in racks around town, check at Sobey’s and Safeway). Meet Marion and Orest Murawsky, owners of The Indefinite Article. Had so much fun doing this story on their love of Saskatchewaniana (is that a word? Think Canadiana!) and all the fascinating pieces – and the stories that go with them – they’ve discovered locally. No European buying trips for these two antique hunters; the picking is perfect right here at home. That’s Marion and me, showing off the article and below, Jim shows off our newest find, a “table butler.” No more pesky toast crumbs! Thanks, Marion and Orest!

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