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My Saskatoon Blog

A Unique Venue in the Heart of Saskatoon

posted by Trusted    |   April 23, 2014 14:21

There are a lot of great things happening in the cool urban space of Village Guitar & Amp Co., your Trusted Saskatoon live music venue, event space, and music store. Keep reading for more on the many hats worn by this great local Saskatoon spot. 

Guitars & Amps

Village Guitar & Amp Co. is a boutique shop that opened in 2011, in the ever-growing, vibrant & trendy Riversdale area of Saskatoon. The atmosphere is probably the best thing about the store. It’s a change in its west side neighborhood, walking into something that’s so big city. It’s got a really good cosmopolitan feel to it, and is definitely the place to come if you have a broken guitar or if you are looking for that special amp. When people first come in, they look surprised, as they weren’t expecting the lovely exposed brick work and wood features. Most people just walk around the store and look up at everything. It’s a buffet for the eyes. There’s so much to look at for musicians and non-musicians alike! Besides the gear, and the quality of the gear, it’s the knowledge of the team. There’s not really an attitude at VGA- you can get help as soon as you walk in. There’s somebody at the door when you get there and you are made to feel comfortable and welcomed!

Village Guitar & Amp Co. is a refreshing addition to Saskatoon's music industry. Not only does it present a quality alternative to the hustle and bustle and sub-par service of some of the larger music retailers in the city, but it is also a great venue for small shows and local events.

Photo Credit: Village Guitar & Amp Co. 

Shows 

Haven’t heard about the live shows at Village Guitar & Amp?

Well, if you haven’t been yet, make sure you get to one- you are in for a treat! Only the best quality musicians make the grade at this venue.

VGA is fully licensed and has local beer on tap. We suggest you buy tickets early, as space is limited to just over 100 people. This makes for a really exclusive and intimate experience that performers LOVE!

Let local musicians and people tell you their thoughts!

“My favourite live music venue in Saskatoon.” - Carrie Catherine

“Amazing venue! So happy to have discovered this place. I will be back. It's hands down the best listening room in Saskatoon. Thank you for a great show.” - Amanda Darnley

“...More than just a "music store", Dan and Doug are as knowledgeable and helpful as they are incredibly talented! Great gear and absolutely top notch service! Can't recommend them enough!” - Shawn E. Blackman

“The concerts are intimate with very talented musicians. Great venue! Can't wait for the next one! Thanks Dan and Stephanie!!” - Susan Halabura

Special Events 

Sick of hosting or attending business events in the same old boring places? Want a unique meeting place away from the hassles of downtown? Want a different place to hold your family reunion, wedding, staff party or special event? Well, look no further than Village Guitar & Amp!!

From Grey Cup parties to fashion shows, Village Guitar is perfect. Boasting wireless internet, an impressive 15' projector screen, and special event lighting, VGA also has a top of the line professional sound system. The space can transition seamlessly from an impressive day time presentation space with coffee, fresh baking, soup and sandwiches catered by the well loved and popular Underground Cafe next door, to an evening networking venue, complete with live music and a licensed bar!

Village Guitar & Amp is a new and exciting enterprise right here in Saskatoon - check them out on Facebook for more information, or on Trusted Saskatoon!

How Not to Build a Deck

posted by Trusted    |   April 22, 2014 11:21

Barbecuing, sun-tanning, and just relaxing in the fresh air with a book are some of the best things about summer. Looking to put in a new deck to enjoy as the weather gets warmer? If this is a task you are thinking you'd like to try to take on yourself, there are a few things that are important to know before tackling the job. While building a deck can be a fun and fulfilling project, simple mistakes could turn your project into a very costly or even dangerous nightmare. Here, your Trusted Saskatoon contractors share 5 of the most common mistakes to avoid when building a deck yourself. 

Selecting The Wrong Material

One of the worst mistakes to make when building a deck is to select the wrong building material. Often people buy the wrong wood or use nails where braces are needed, etc. Personally, I have come across dozens of decks built with fencing material. What seems like a cost cutting method could add up to major costs in just a few years. Most fence material has square edges, which chip and break off under the slightest amount of foot pressure. This wood also tends to be knotty and often warps in any weather condition. 

Not Sealing Your Deck

When a deck is built with pressure treated wood, it is recommended to avoid sealing it for 6 months. For some homeowners, six months can turn into a couple of years before they know it. When a deck is not sealed, it will start rotting in a hurry. Make sure to properly clean and seal your deck and check it often to make sure it doesn’t need to be sealed again. To check your deck before you wreck your deck, pour a little water on it to see if it absorbs. If the water is absorbed, it is time to seal it again. A little maintenance goes a long way. 

Incorrect Riser Heights

One of the most confusing aspects of building a deck for an aspiring carpenter, is cutting the stringer. There is a little math involved that often causes first timers to make the mistake of cutting incorrect riser heights. All of the risers should be the same length except for the bottom riser. All of the other risers will lose the depth of the tread once it is put on, so the bottom riser should be a tread depth smaller than the other risers. It’s an easy mistake to make when taking everything else into account. 

Improper Drainage

This mistake is actually a series of mistakes that many budding builders make. When building your deck, you want to make sure the water drains in an efficient manner. If the deck is attached directly to your house, it is important to use the proper flashing to make sure water doesn’t accumulate on the side of your house, rotting your structure. It is also important to leave a little space between your planks to allow for drainage. Last but not least, consider sloping your deck .25 inches for every 12 inches away from your house. Doing this will help keep water from accumulating on your deck. 

Incorrect Placement of Beam Splices

More often than not, beginning carpenters make the assumption that separating the distance of beam splices between the different plies is important. While it can help if done properly, It is more important to make sure your splices sit on top of posts. Some designs make it possible to stagger the splices and sit them atop separate posts but if this isn’t possible, make sure to sit your splices on top of your posts, even if they are only inches apart between plies. If you avoid this warning, you could be rebuilding after inspection. 

Building a deck can be a fun and rewarding experience as long as you plan ahead and avoid these costly mistakes.

Happy Building!

Why Shop Local in Saskatoon? Part I

posted by Elle    |   March 6, 2014 15:26
At the beginning of February, six local Saskatoon retailers came together to create The Local Local Super Sale, a collection of each shop's unique sale inventories under the same roof. Tonic, Banjo Outpost, Anthology Home Collection, Luna + Hill, Guys & Dawls, and Durand's joined forces, resulting in an eclectic mix of products, styles and price points, combined into one "super sale" at St. Joseph's Parish Hall on the corner of Broadway and 8th.
 
As far as I know, this is the first time something like this has been done in Saskatoon, and in my mind, is something that should happen much more often. On a normal day, the shops that were involved are dispersed among the most vibrant shopping districts in Saskatoon- Downtown, Broadway, and Riversdale. Each of these neighbourhoods is walkable (more enjoyably in the warmer months), and I have often spent a weekend afternoon on Broadway or Downtown, leisurely strolling from shop to shop. The Super Sale provided a great opportunity to get the best of all three neighbourhoods, all in one place. Saskatoon winters being as they are, the sale was a fantastic opportunity to peruse the offerings of several great local shops without having to venture out into the cold between stops. It resulted in a much more efficient and convenient (and warm) method of shopping some of Saskatoon's best local boutiques.
 
 
The vibe at the sale was relaxed and inviting, with refreshments available from Cultura Espresso Bar, and shoppers mingling with one another as they explored the offerings of each of the stores involved in the sale. This was a unique shopping experience that I can't say I've ever had in Saskatoon. It was, in my mind, a perfect example of community coming together in support of local businesses, and local businesses recognizing the benefits of working together. 
 
For me, it just feels natural to support local businesses whenever I can. There are a few key reasons why making the decision to purchase from local retailers just makes sense.
 

One of a kind businesses with distinctive character add flavour to our city.

There is such a strong spirit of entrepreneurship in Saskatoon, resulting in so many amazing home grown and locally owned businesses. A few of my personal favourite local retail shops include Green Ark Collected Home, Tonic, White Dahlia, Dutch GrowersLuna + Hill, and Era Style Loft. There are also so many fantastic local people who produce their own goods right here in Saskatoon. Think Green Ark again, Uncle Mike's Naturals, and Sara Lua Designs. Local entrepreneurs like those behind these great businesses are willing to take the risk required in order to bring great products to Saskatonians. The lengths to which local entrepreneurs go to bring such unique products to market in our city should be appreciated and reinforced by the financial support of local consumers. 

Locally owned businesses sustain vibrant town centres.

What would our city be without the vibrancy of Broadway, Downtown, and the restored blocks of 20th Street? Business districts like these result in a web of economic and social relationships that are essential to a strong community. The compact nature of these neighbourhoods also reduces the negative effects of urban sprawl (automobile use, habitat loss, air and water pollution. Eww.)

Local owners know their market and know their products.

Business owners who live in the community in which they do business understand the needs of local consumers, and often build their business around their personal interests or passion. This means that the people who are bringing products to market for you are often people who first try to understand what it is that local consumers (you) really want. It also means that people are creating products they are passionate about, and if they are bringing products in from elsewhere, they often have an expertise and personal interest in those products. 

Locally owned businesses enrich the entire community.

Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made by people who reside in our city- people who will feel the impacts of those decisions- people whose children grow up here. Local owners are also local people. People who live, work, and play in Saskatoon are more likely to have a vested interest in seeing our city thrive, both socially and economically. Much of the profit that local businesses generate is, in turn, spent on supporting other local businesses, and our economy is strengthened. Many local owners also want to see positive change happen in the community in which they live, and often have a specific local non-profit or charity that they support.

These are a just few reasons among many. In my opinion, there is simply no better way to spend my hard-earned money, than by supporting the endeavours of the local businesses I love. How lucky we are to live in a city like Saskatoon with so many talented, stylish, savvy people who are willing to take the risks involved in creating local products and establishing new boutiques and shops from the ground up. Let's show them our support!

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