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My Saskatoon Blog

What You'll Find at Nuit Blanche Saskatoon

posted by My Saskatoon    |   September 26, 2014 16:36

Nuit Blanche - a nighttime festival celebrating the artistic expression of light, sound, images, human movement - is the first of its kind in Saskatoon. Starting at 8pm on Saturday night, 20th Street will come alive with stunning artistic showcases by a great number of talented local artists. This is artistic collaboration at its finest, and is sure to become a staple festival in Saskatoon. Its also a great chance to enjoy the abundant food and drink options on 20th Street, such as Little Bird Patisserie & Cafe and Collective Coffee, among others. 

The event, sprawled across the four blocks of 20th Street between Idylwyld and Avenue E, features enough artistic installations to keep you entertained and inspired late into the night. Nuit Blanche is free, and fun for all ages. 

What a fantastic opportunity to experience a piece of the creativity and passion that drives our city, in such a unique setting. Grab your friends and head on down to Riversdale on Saturday to get in on the joy and excitement this event is sure to bring.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

posted by My Saskatoon    |   September 12, 2014 11:49

J&S Picture Frame Warehouse, locally owned and operated since 1978, offers unique, specialty services in framing, photo restoration, and printing. Sherry Morris, owner and principal designer, brings many years of experience to framing almost anything. She is an expert in the preservation and beautiful presentation of photography, artwork, and memorabilia.

We visited Sherry at her shop in Sutherland, where she shared with us the history of J&S, her evolving industry, and the unique products and services she and her staff provide.

 

You've been in business for over 30 years! Looking back, how have things changed in your industry?

I moved back to Saskatoon from Toronto in 1978, and at that time in Saskatoon, the framing industry was very basic. No one out here was using acid-free materials or doing the archival framing that I had experience with in Toronto. Because I came from a bigger centre and had worked with different artists there, I knew about these innovations. Still, the colours and options were so limited then. The industry, like everything else in our society, has progressed. We now have much better products than we had before, and it’s wonderful! In this industry, you have to keep up with that.

In what ways has your business evolved over the years?

When we started we just did picture framing. In those days, we had the biggest selection of stock frames west of Toronto. People came from all over. We now offer all types of framing. We specialize in memorabilia, and the restoration of old things. We do every kind of framing out there, and now have thousands of framing options. Very often we put more than one frame together for a different look, so the options are endless. We also now do large format printing, canvas printing, photography printing, and giclée printing for artists. We use only UV ink in our printers. You can bring a piece of artwork in, and we can reproduce it on any substrate you choose.

Why is high quality framing so important?

Preservation is the most important thing, in my opinion. If a piece is not framed correctly, with a chemical-free frame, ten years down the road, it will be ruined. If you have an MDF or plastic frame, they are made with chemicals. Those chemicals off-gas into your artwork or whatever it is that is framed. The materials we use do not contain those harmful chemicals. We see things coming in that have been poorly framed, and we see how the artwork or photograph has deteriorated. It is amazing to see what a poor or cheaply made frame can do to a beautiful piece. I’ve trained my staff to be very very diligent about showing the customer what can be done to prevent this, and why it should be done.

Read on to learn more about how Sherry creates a unique piece for each and every customer, her recent award for ethics and integrity, and her chosen local charity. 

Fill your Weekends in September

posted by My Saskatoon    |   September 9, 2014 15:46

While the big-name concerts, widely publicized attractions, and annual events in our city are great, we love to dig a little deeper and discover the more "niche" to-dos in Saskatoon. The unique public gatherings, first-time festivals, and weekend classes are great ways to meet like-minded people and enjoy the fruits of the talent and passion of other Saskatonians. We thought we'd put together a little list of what's on our radar each month in Saskatoon. Here's what we've got for September. If you know of anything happening in September that isn't mentioned here, let us know on Facebook

 

Intuitive Path Superfoods Classes

Every weekend in September // Saskatoon Farmers' Market

Join the folks at Intuitive Path Superfoods throughout the month for education on a variety of topics, including Living Hydration, Fermentation, Earthing, Raw Chocolate Making and more.

Get more information here

 

Storefront presents SoundCloud 

Opening Reception

Friday, September 12 at 7pm // The Storefront

SoundCloud is a suspended undulating paper cloud which creates a landscape composed of clustered paper forms. SoundCloud seeks to redefine The Storefront by translating the sound that exists in the space into a visual and spatial experience. 

Get more information here

 

33rd Street Fair

Saturday, September 13 at 10am til 4pm // on 33rd Street from Avenue D to Avenue F

Buskers, Food Trucks, and Vendors selling handmade, recycled, vintage, and repurposed items. Bring your perennials for swapping, and your garden abundance for sharing. 

Get more information here

 

YXE Street Food Fest

Saturday, September 13 at 11:30am til 10:30pm // River Landing Phase 1

An collection of 14 mobile food vendors congregating on Spadina Crescent, complete with beer gardens and live music. 

Get more information here

 

Saskatoon Cycles' Moveable Feast

Friday, September 19 at 6:15pm til late // meet at Mendel Art Gallery parking lot

Delicious appetizers and tasty beverages at several Downtown locations, enjoyed via an urban bike ride with fellow bike and food lovers. 

Get more information here

 

From Field to Shield | Dinner with Chef Jenni

Saturday, September 20 at 6pm // Saskatoon Farmers' Market

An autumn feast celebrating the abundance and beauty of Saskatchewan through foods foraged from the Canadian shield to prairie fields. Shield to Field is the second event in the seasonal market dinner series with the Saskatoon Farmers' Market Chef in Residence, Jennifer Willems. 

Get more information here

 

Etsy Made in Canada | Saskatoon

Saturday, September 27 at 10am to 5pm // Le Relais

A great selection of local Etsy shops selling their wares in person, and an origami table where you can try your hand at the ancient art of folding paper. 

Get more information here

 

Nuit Blanche

Saturday, September 27 at 8pm til late // on 20th Street West

20th Street will be brought to life with over 30 artistic installations from the surreal to the exciting. Incorporating light, sound, images, human movement and everything in between - plan to be surprised, dazzled, and entertained long into the night. 

Get more information here

 

We hope something on this list will pique your interest! If you capture your experience at any of these local events on Instagram, don't forget to hashtag and tag us @mysaskatoon!

#shoplocalyxe #eatlocalyxe #supportlocalyxe 

 

Herbal Time Tea House

posted by My Saskatoon    |   September 8, 2014 11:33

In our fast paced, high intensity world, many of life's simple pleasures aren't given the attention they deserve. This is particularly the case when it comes to eating and drinking. Meals are increasingly consumed in front of the TV or computer, while driving, or while otherwise distracted. We often find ourselves growing impatient as we wait five minutes standing in line or at the drive-thru. Coffee has become a constant accessory, alongside us all day long without much care or attention paid. Other drinks accompany our meals, but aren't really savoured in the way they could be. 

Do you think its time we slow down, and stop sipping mindlessly from our to-go cups as we rush from Point A to B?

Herbal Time Tea House in Willowgrove provides us with an opportunity to do just that. 

Walking into Herbal Time in mid-afternoon, the environment feels bright, awakening the senses with lots of light beaming in on the fresh green walls. We are greeted with a warm welcome, and are seated at a table near the window. We expected a coffee shop style of service where people line up at the bar to order, and were surprised when we were brought to a table and presented with menus. The menu is tea-focused, of course, with herbal teas and bubble teas making up the majority. The menu is unique in its detail, with the health benefits of each type of tea outlined. The ingredients are all natural, and are combined into a number of herbal infusions, centred around lemongrass, rose, goji, chrysanthemum, and jujube. An excellent source of vitamins and minerals, benefits for specific body systems are associated with each ingredient. 

 

We ordered the Rose Milk Tea and Raspberry Bubble Tea. The Rose Milk Tea was creamy and floral with a hint of sweetness. We could taste the quality in the Bubble Tea, and witnessed other patrons delighted by their first experience with the tapioca bubbles and giant straw. Most of all, we enjoyed the fact that our beverages were the focal point of our experience. Such great care and attention was taken with them, and it really made us appreciate the simplicity of sitting and savouring a cup of tea. 

Herbal Time also offers a unique Afternoon Tea for Two, which includes tea served in a beautiful porcelain tea set, accompanied by an array of cheesecake, ganache, cookies, and fruit. Next time we go, we will definitely have to experience it! 

 Whether you're looking for a unique date night, a relaxing place to catch up with friends, a quiet place to study (there's wifi), or an opportunity to extend the peace and health benefits of a yoga class, Herbal Time Tea House is now open and waiting for you in Willowgrove Square. 

Visit Herbal Time's Spotlight Profile for a map of their location and hours of operation, and to connect on social media! 

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A Day of Play in Saskatoon

posted by My Saskatoon    |   September 5, 2014 10:44

Day of Play started as a legacy for Rayna Korte, and three years later the event is bigger and better than ever! Held in South Kiwanis Park this Sunday, September 7th, Day of Play is an afternoon jam-packed with fun for the entire family. This time each year, a great number of amazing local people and businesses come together to honour the memory of Rayna while raising funds for local children’s charities.

Leanne Thompson-Hill, former owner of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, has been with Day of Play since its beginnings. She shares with us the history and heart behind Day of Play, and what you can expect to see at this year’s event!

How did Rayna Korte inspire Day of Play?

In 2010, in the midst of her battle with leukemia, Rayna was all set to go and meet the Disney Princesses in Disney World, courtesy of the Children’s Wish Foundation. Just two days before her departure date, Rayna was admitted to hospital due to a complication from her chemotherapy treatments. The recreational therapist at the hospital and the Children’s Wish Foundation contacted us at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, and we arranged to have our Princesses visit Rayna for a Tea Party in the hospital. When Rayna finally got to go on her trip, she told her Mom that the Princesses at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo were better than the Princesses at Disney World. Sadly, Rayna was re-diagnosed in January 2011 with brain cancer. When the decision to to stop treatment was made, Rayna’s last wish was 100 more days to play. After the Tea Party at the hospital, I followed Rayna’s story on Facebook. In 2011, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo hosted a Tea Party fundraiser in collaboration with the Children’s Wish Foundation, and of course Rayna immediately came to my mind. She had so much fun at the one we held at the hospital, and she had this natural energy that made you fall in love with her. So, I thought I would do it only if Rayna was the guest of honour. Unfortunately, Rayna wasn’t well enough to attend the Tea Party, and she passed away the following day. Rayna got her wish, as she passed on exactly the 100th day after she made the wish for 100 more days to play.

How did the Tea Party evolve into the big event that it is today?

After Rayna passed away I became friends with her parents, Cindy and Roger. With their blessing, we wanted to do an annual Day of Play in Rayna’s memory, to honour her 100 days of play wish she had made. The basis of the event was to throw a party including things Rayna loved - tie dye (cupcakes were tie dye, and our logo is tie dye), kites (we decorated and flew kites) and so much more. Our attendance has grown considerably, as well as the profit we receive from the actual day. All money raised after costs is donated to a children's charity.

How do you choose the charity organization to support with the funds generated by Day of Play?

When I owned Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, I got to know many different children's causes. After the first Day of Play on Central Avenue, Cindy decided she wanted to honour the pediatric unit as well as Children’s Wish Foundation, as both had been a part of Rayna's journey. And with that, we became the Day of Play Board and decided to choose a new children's charity yearly. Lisa, the Program Director at Crisis Nursery, was a customer at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, and I know how much the Nursery relies on funding. I’ve never met someone who works as hard as Lisa. She lives and breathes for those kids. We want to support such a wonderful cause.

How many people do you expect to attend Day of Play this year?

We are holding the event in a different location and on a different day than in past years, so it is hard to estimate, but we usually see between 4,000 and 5,000 people attend.

How many volunteers come together to make this event happen?

We live and learn, and we now know that we need about 100 people for the actual day! The Day of Play Board consists of 9 members.

What are some of the highlights of the event this year?

We have Go-Karts this year, courtesy of KartTrak, and a 100 foot obstacle course. We have a Safety Service Tent, and puppies from two of our favourite rescue groups. Living Sky Rehabilitation (birds and wild babies such as skunks and foxes) and Wrangler Elisa (reptiles) are joining us. And of course we have live children's entertainment all day, including a special Singing with Sylvia concert which you have to pre-purchase your pass to attend. We also have a performance by Wide Open Children’s Theatre, a Market Square, car show, rides, petting zoo, face painting, carnival, and more. 

It seems like Day of Play is a collaborative effort by many local Saskatoon businesses.

We have been lucky to have such awesome support! Past sponsors have been Sun Life Financial, Areva, The Medicine Shoppe, and Agrium. Our regular sponsors are Tantrix Body Art, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, SaskTel, Travis Quiring, and Outgrow Outplay Saskatoon East. The Mom and Tot Expo, Cakes by Jen, Butler Byers, Tweet’s Roofing, O’Brians Automotive, Can-Do Delivery Services, Maaco, and 96.3 Cruz FM. Pizza Hut and DQ, Avid Enterprises, Air Canada, and Pro Print. New sponsors this year are PotashCorp, RedHead Equipment, Federated Co-op, WakeRide (courtesy of Gregg Bamford), and Saskatoon Funeral Home. Our Title Sponsor this year is Wheaton GM. 

Since Day of Play is run solely by volunteers, we rely on businesses to help support this fun event as well as come out and attend. Now that we have a new home Downtown in the South Kiwanis Park, we are hoping that more businesses in the Downtown core will become involved. 

Do you fundraise throughout the year?

Every year we plan a few new things. We start our year off with the Santa Claus Parade. Our Disney Princess Christmas and Scrooge themed floats have won in past years! We do an auction online, we had a hypnotist night at The Ivy, bake sales, The Saskatoon Parent and Tot Expo, and Outgrow Outplay Saskatoon East donates a lot of their door donations to our event. We had a screening of The Little Mermaid at the Roxy Theatre, a giant garage sale, a BBQ at Co-op, and Cakes by Jen with 96.3 Cruz FM held a Cupcake Day fundraiser.

What is your goal for Day of Play this year?

All we care about at the end of the Day is that all kids had a blast, and our goal of $30,000 raised for Crisis Nursery is met. 

Can you describe a positive outcome of Day of Play that you didn’t expect?

There are many, but something that just happened that made me smile is an email I received from a lady who has attended Day of Play in the past. She was touched by Rayna's story, and lost her best friend and her best friend’s daughter shortly after in a car accident. She wanted to let me know that Day of Play inspired her to throw one in her friend’s daughter’s honour. It is called Clara's Play Day and was a few Sundays ago. I believe in positive energy, doing good always, and paying it forward. I believe that Day of Play is a great example of what a team of great people can do.

Do you have a dream for the future of Day of Play?

Yes, but it is a secret and will be announced after September 7th!

We ask everyone this question: What do you love about Saskatoon?

I love the fact that there are so many caring people here. I cannot believe the support that we have received this year in the way of volunteers- it is truly awesome. 

Day of Play is happening this Sunday, September 7th in South Kiwanis Park. There are so many things to see and do that the whole family will enjoy, while supporting a great cause! Its a fun-filled event that is an awesome opportunity to get out and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. Get your passes before Sunday and save $5! Passes can be purchased online here. They are now sold out at Tantrix, but are also available at Crisis Nursery, The Trading Post, Cakes by Jen, and Bike Doctor - and also can be purchased for $20 at the event. 

The Strawberry Ranch

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 28, 2014 09:32

Growing up, my grandparents made a summer habit of picking pounds (and pounds!) of strawberries from their local strawberry patch - resulting in pies, sauces, bars, and, of course, strawberry shortcake. I’ve always had it in my mind that I’d eventually continue that tradition.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law liked the idea too! A few weeks ago, my husband and I spent a Saturday morning at the Strawberry Ranch with my sister-in-law, niece, and nephews.  What a beautiful and refreshing morning!

For some reason, it was incredibly good for the soul.  Maybe it was the act of harvesting our own food, being out in the country air, or knowing we were “shopping local” in the most basic sense.  

Of course, it didn’t hurt that these super-fresh strawberries cost less than berries at the grocery store!  We marvelled that for such a reasonable rate, we were able to go home with pounds of fresh fruit AND get such a wonderful experience.

The Strawberry Ranch is a family owned and operated farm located four miles southwest of Saskatoon. There are ready-picked berries available, but I would highly recommend the U-Pick option. The experience just simply can't be missed! Its a good idea to call ahead before going, as U-Pick times may vary depending on the crop ripening. 

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An Innovative Home Upgrade

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 26, 2014 11:09

Locally owned in Saskatoon, Granite Transformations is exceeding customer expectations with its innovative products and a streamlined process that has revolutionized the granite counter top industry. With expertise in cabinet refacing as well, Granite Transformations is a one stop shop for kitchen and bath upgrades and remodels. 

The owners of Granite Transformations, Colin, Rob, and Derek shared with us some little known facts about their extraordinary products, their unique way of doing things, and their heart for our community. 

 

What inspired you to start your business? 

We wanted to provide Saskatoon residents with a unique opportunity. We felt that Granite Transformations meets a need that was not yet being addressed here. Saskatoon has a booming real estate market, both in new builds and in the buying and selling of existing homes. This is also the number one under-served market, especially in the renovation field. We believed there were home renovations that weren’t done, simply because people didn’t know they had the option to do what we do. We knew there would be home owners that would love our product, people who wouldn't have been able to get the solution they were looking for any other way.

What makes your product innovative?

Our granite is compressed and bonded together to make a slab, using a polymer resin. It is the same type of resin used in aircraft manufacturing. This keeps the product thin and lightweight, yet very very strong. It is also what seals the stone. A typical slab is porous, traps bacteria, and emits radon gas. With our stone, nothing goes in, and nothing comes out. We are the only granite surface in the world that never requires maintenance or sealing. 

Does your product look similar to a traditional granite counter top?

Our product comes in 10 foot slabs, much like traditional granite, but the slabs are not thick, bulky, porous, or heavy. They are still slabs of stone, though. Because the product is thin, it is installed right over top of an existing counter top. Installed, it looks very similar to a typical stone counter top. 

Are your products as durable as typical granite?

While our slabs are thinner, since they are no longer porous, when tested they are actually 2.5 times stronger versus impact than thicker porous slabs. Our quartz and glass products are also incredibly durable. 

Your products are tested radon-safe. What is radon, and are there other comparable products out there that people have in their homes that are unsafe?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can be harmful to one’s health. Traditional granite slabs emit varying amounts of radon, which is why you will never see slab granite in a hospital, school, or the prep area of any restaurant. Our products are approved for use in all three. 

We also asked the team at Granite Transformations about their eco-friendly products, the non-profit organization they are committed to, and their favourite things about Saskatoon. View the full article here

5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Home's Saleability

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 25, 2014 10:14

Are you in the market for a new home in Saskatoon? If you're not a first time home buyer, you know as well as anyone that you've gotta get out of the old before you can move on with the new! Tanya LaRose, local Saskatoon REALTOR with Re/max Central, has 5 easy tips for increasing the saleability of any home. Whether your home has been on the real estate market for a while, or you are just taking the initial steps to put it up for sale, following these pointers will help to ensure that you get the most out of your home sale in the shortest time possible. 

Tanya LaRose, Saskatoon REALTOR

Clean

The cleanliness of a home fore sale is often overlooked and underestimated. Be sure to complete both a surface clean and deep clean. Deodorize the home if any strong odours are present. Purge any old items to reduce a cluttered appearance and open up the space to appear larger. Also, put family momentums in storage, as potential buyers need to be able to envision themselves living there. This requires a neutral environment.

Facelift

Giving your home a facelift is improving its showing quality without the huge budget of major renovations. Add fresh coats of paint and when in doubt, choose white - however, grey is the chic trend right now. Update fixtures like discoloured light switch covers, rusted faucets etc. Ensure your window covers are consistent. Drapes are the most inexpensive option and add a feeling of warmth to the home. Make sure everything works correctly - lights turn on, doors close, and toilets flush.

Yard Work

Curb appeal is so very important, as it is first impression that can either draw buyers in or turn them away. Remove weeds! Plant a few flowers. Potted flowers work just fine. Make sure they are colourful, and position them at the front step.

Staging

Statistics show that getting your home professionally staged often reduces the amount of time it sits on the market, and increases the amount of the offer. You can opt for full or partial staging, or even a consultation to have your current furniture re-arranged to look its best. 

Hire a Contractor

If your home has some serious issues, your REALTOR will be able to advise you if you will be able to make a return on any major renovations. The best time to hire a contractor is in the fall, because they will be less busy and more likely to negotiate a better price. Ask if they offer any sort of warranty on their services, as this could be used as an additional selling feature. Ask to view a portfolio, references, business license, and/or website before making a decision on a contractor. Be sure your are hiring a legitimate tradesman, because if the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

For more detailed information on the best ways for you to prepare your home specifically for today's market, contact licensed REALTOR with Re/Max Central, Tanya LaRose at 306-380-REAL(7325).

Check out Tanya's Spotlight Profile for more about her, or to connect with her on social media!

August in Saskatoon

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 22, 2014 10:37

Saskatoon is truly a city that thoroughly enjoys its summer!  As residents of the downtown area, we’ve had the pleasure of living right in the middle of some of Saskatoon’s summer events.  What a treat to cook dinner with the background music of Jazz Fest’s Ms. Lauryn Hill coming in through our windows!

June and July were fantastic but I’m realizing that Saskatoon saves some of the best for last. This has been my first August in Saskatoon, and boy am I impressed!  

The first nine days of the month, the Fringe Festival was in full swing on Broadway Avenue!  My husband and I visited on a few occasions – taking in the crafts, the artwork, and of course, the street theatre (zombie newlyweds!). 

We also visited the Saskatoon ‘EX’, enjoying mini donuts, a free concert by Walk Off the Earth, and Safeway Kidsville. We don’t have kids of our own, but it sure was fun watching little ones going on rides or petting ponies in the petting zoo!  

My personal favourite was the President’s Choice SuperDogs.  If you haven’t seen this dog show, you must!  I don’t know what it is about dogs doing tricks or racing through obstacle courses but the crowd literally went wild – including me!  I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard. I probably would have been embarrassed, but, like I said, the whole crowd was wild! 

 

Sadly, we weren’t able to make it to Folkfest, but I hear it’s another great August event, and I’m already looking forward to the PotashCorp Fireworks Festival on August 29-30.

Of course, it’s always sad when summer ends, but I hear that Saskatoon is beautiful in the fall!

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Badminton at Rotary Park

posted by My Saskatoon    |   August 19, 2014 16:41

Growing up, badminton was an annual unit in junior high and high school gym class. Once a year, we’d arrive at gym class to find the badminton nets set up.  We’d happily select our racquets and birdies, and prepare for two weeks of badminton tournaments. 

I can’t deny it was one of my favourite units in gym class (besides square dancing). There’s just something about badminton… it’s like tennis but less running, similar to volleyball but less painful on the arms. So when my brother-in-law mentioned that he was coaching a badminton team this winter, the wonderful memories of spiking those birdies came rushing back. And so badminton was added to my husband and I's summer to-do list!

When the weather warmed up, we tracked down a set of racquets and birdies (although it was difficult – apparently we weren’t the only ones wanting to play badminton!) for under $10 at Dollarama! On a gloriously hot day, we hit those birdies around at Rotary Park. Oh man! It was as great as I imagined! I’m proud to say that my husband and I volleyed that birdie back and forth 200 times without it touching the ground. 

If you are looking for a fun way to soak up a summer evening, I highly recommend grabbing a buddy and heading down to Rotary Park to bat a birdie around! 

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