Let’s Fly!
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 2 September 2021

Let’s Fly!: A Dragon’s Quest in SaskatoonWritten by Kathie Cram, Illustrated by Kas ReaPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$14.95 ISBN 9-781988-783697 Writer Kathie Cram and her illustrator Kas Rea have crafted a new book that celebrates Saskatoon through the adventures of two unlikely – and likeable – new friends, an inquisitive chickadee and a hopeful baby dragon. From the first page I surmised that the playful language in this book – “a very small bird found a very strange egg. Suddenly, it jiggled and wiggled and crackled and cracked” – would appeal to young ears. Cram’s a multi-genre Saskatoon writer who’s previously published adult fantasy and nonfiction, and she’s now working on a novel. Rea also lives in Saskatoon, where she’s a Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the University of Saskatchewan. Using the tried-and-true children’s text formula of repetition, Cram has her friendly pair meeting other creatures as Red, the dragon, searches with Little Bird for the former’s family. The flying dragon soars above Saskatoon with the bird on her back, and the two make stops at popular Saskatoon landmarks, like Wanuskewin Heritage Park. The first landing’s bumpy. “‘Sorry. I am new to flying,’” Red…

Scenic Bridges
Landscape Art Publishing / 17 March 2021

Scenic Bridges: A Collection of Bridge Motifs by Fritz StehwienPublished by Landscape Art PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$29.95 ISBN 9780991964987 Scenic Bridges, the latest release from the Fritz Stehwien Estate, is a delightful visual study of bridges around the world, in particular Saskatoon, and also reveals a gifted artist’s creative development and perspective through the years. Saskatoon is well-known as the City of Bridges (eight to date) and this beautiful hardcover book features a number of them. But it also goes beyond the city, featuring bridges near Borden and The Battlefords as well as bridges further afield including the Calgary Centre Street Bridge, and the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia, Ontario. Bridges are obviously something that continually fascinated Stehwien and he was known to sketch and paint wherever he went. Many of the bridges in the book are from his travels around the world, including Taiwan, Austria, Germany, France and Holland and span the years from the early 1940s to the 1980s. One of the things that struck me about this book is that Stehwien has captured specific brief moments in time that would otherwise have been forgotten. A number of his artworks, for example, show bridges in Europe during World…

Our Kind of Work: The Glory Days and Difficult Times of 25th Street Theatre
Thistledown Press / 9 July 2012

Our Kind of Work: The Glory Days and Difficult Times of 25th Street Theatre by Dwayne Brenna Published by Thistledown Press Review by Keith Foster $18.95 978-1-897235-95-9 When your work is a labour of love, every day is payday. This is the philosophy keenly expressed in Dwayne Brenna’s Our Kind of Work: The Glory Days and Difficult Times of 25th Street Theatre. An actor himself, Brenna provides the inside story of 25th Street Theatre, the first professional theatre company in Saskatoon. In addition to his own recollections, his richly detailed text incorporates numerous press reviews of the plays presented. The impetus behind this experimental theatre company was its first artistic director, the irrepressible Andy Tahn, who proposed producing prairie-based, original plays. The theatre provided a venue for emerging playwrights such as Ken Mitchell and Connie Gault, and actors like Janet Wright, later of “Corner Gas” fame. As the subtitle suggests, however, this labour of love involved some birthing and growing pains. Lack of space and finances persistently plagued the company, as did the clash of personalities between actors and directors. Bad reviews and the spectre of censorship also raised their heads. The premiere of one play, Cold Comfort, described by…

Emry’s Dream: Greystone Theatre in Photographs and Words
Thistledown Press / 27 August 2008

Current Greystone Theatre director, Dwayne Brenna – known to many as a writer, actor, and “Eddie Gustafson” on CBC SK Radio — has orchestrated a history of Greystone with essays and black and white archival photographs that reveal the theatre’s finest hours — and some of its darkest – in “Emrys’ Dream:
Greystone Theatre in Photographs and Words.”