Celina Danis donated blood on Aug. 7 in memory of her partner Chad Wiklun. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson)

Please donate. Your blood will save a life

Celina Danis paid a debt of gratitude last week when she donated blood in the memory of her partner, Chad Wiklun. Not far away, as Danis settled into a chair, were her daughters Casey and Carsyn.
Wiklun was seriously injured in an underground mining accident on Aug. 8, 2016. He passed away two days later. During those two days, he was given 500 units of blood and blood products.
Danis organized a blood donor clinic in 2017 and another last week. More than 50 people donated in Wiklun’s name the first time.
It takes a special person to do what Danis has done. She’s special like so many in our area that have done wonderful things in memory of lost ones.


David Tkachuk has played his part in political history

Inspired by former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan’s David Tkachuk decided to pursue a political path.
He joined the Progressive Conservative Party in 1974. As Saskatchewan executive director of the party and later Grant Devine’s principal secretary, he saw the party fortunes rise from no elected members and two per cent of the popular vote in 1974 to taking office in 1982.
Later in life, there were other comeback stories he helped engineer with the federal elections of Conservative governments in 1984 and 1997.
Tkachuk was appointed to the Senate in 1993 and today, at 73, remains in office.
“Most of my days as a boy were spent in Weirdale, a community named after Robert Weir who was the Canadian minister of agriculture in R.B. Bennett’s days as prime minister,” said Tkachuk.

I’ve rediscovered sleep, people and love in a hot blur of summer

Myles Morrison had a good training ground for his success in standup comedy.
His brother Kirk is a writer and sounding board, his father Mark is a master of one-liners and his mother Judy is a storyteller. Myles’ sister, Kayla, sometimes wears a bull’s eye as the target of his jokes. Family meals at the Morrison home must have been a hoot.
“My family has definitely shaped my sense of humour and my brother is a huge part of that. He’s always been my writing partner. He did try standup for about six months; he did a bunch of shows and went out on the road too. He did well but he’s a little too shy — he doesn’t like being in front of people, but he is ridiculously funny and I always respect his opinion on what’s funny and what’s not.
“My dad is kind of the strong silent type but he always has something clever and witty to say. He’s an interesting character I guess and I find him really funny these days because he’s retired and my mom isn’t. He tries to keep himself entertained and I think part of that is messing with people just for his own laughs.

There are plenty of arts and entertainment options in August

August is always a busy and exciting month in this city, with great annual events scheduled such as the Nutrien Fringe Theatre Festival, the Saskatoon Ex, Folkfest, the Nutrien Fireworks Festival, Ukrainian Day in the Park and Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan.
That’s a lot of fun options to explore — and yet there are even more arts and entertainment events on offer this month. Here are just a few of them for your consideration.
Andrew Cohen and Anna Kuman are excited to bring their interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s music to the famed songwriter’s hometown.
From Aug. 15-26, Persephone Theatre will present a special summer bonus musical — Circle Game: Reimagining the Music of Joni Mitchell — at the Remai Arts Centre.
Co-created and co-directed by Cohen and Kuman — a husband-and-wife duo based in Vancouver .

Racial profiling became part of my everyday life

I was born to be the usual suspect. Or, as they say on television, a person of interest.
I have been carded, profiled and completely checked out by the police simply because of my Indigenous background. Truth be told, I look like a “real Indian:” long hair, high cheekbones and the whole shebang.
I had just moved into Riversdale and didn’t know anyone in the neighbourhood. When I first moved into the inner-city area, people were telling me how dangerous it was to walk around at night. But as Jacqui, my partner at the time, and I got to know people who had lived there for years we met those who wanted to make a positive change in the Riversdale.
I was invited to a barbecue at the home of one family we met. They only lived three blocks from my place, so I decided to walk over in the summer evening. It was around 10 in the evening and dusk was settling in when I decided to walk home. I was about to cross 19th Street at Avenue E when I was suddenly surrounded by Saskatoon’s finest.

New book to explore poisonous family relationships

Allan and Tanya Kehler will be taking on a sacred subject in their new book — Get the F Out of Family.
There comes a point, Allan Kehler says, when family relationships can be poisonous for a member of the clan. People often remain engaged, because, well, family is family. Blood is thicker than water, and all of that. Kehler says it is OK to extract yourself from situations when it’s for your own peace and happiness.
“We tolerate certain behaviours from people because they are family members. And we would never tolerate that from a neighbour,” Kehler said. “But it’s such an emotionally charged topic because society sees family as something that is on a pedestal and we like to put on this front and this smile at things like weddings, funerals, family reunions. There is stress; there is anxiety.
“If you have a sibling who is verbally abusive, I believe you have to step back and you have to take a closer look at what you do control and what you don’t control. You control the degree to which that person is in your life. And at some point you are going to have to communicate what you need.”


I’m keeping this short, for reasons that will soon become clear

I am trying to think of a light and fluffy summer topic to write about, because I’m sitting here, close to deadline, in front of my laptop with a horrendous case of writer’s block.
I’d like to write something light and fluffy because these next couple of weeks represent the beginning of the end of the lazy, hazy days of summer, and nobody wants to think about anything too complicated when it’s 35 degrees outside.
In order to distract from my own uselessness, I decided to start watching season six of Orange is the New Black, recently released on Netflix. I loved that show, binge-watching at least the first two or three seasons, and enjoying the fourth and even the fifth at a healthy pace.
Sitting here today, and about a quarter of way through the first episode, I knew what I was going to write about: jumping the shark. I already know, just a few minutes into watching the new season, that I am finished with Orange is the New Black, because it has officially jumped the shark.