author: mac brock | a&c editor
With 2016 in the books, we look ahead at the year to come in Regina.
A new year tends to bring hope and excitement, causing everyone to create goals to try to improve themselves. Of course, the phrase “new year, new me” is completely overrated and a cliché by now, but at least it’s a nice thought. If you can actually keep your goals, power to you.
My favourite part about a new year is that it also brings many new events to Regina, as well as all the annual festivals that roll back around. So far, 2017 looks like it’s going to be a busy year in Regina with tons of exciting events happening all over the city. There’s quite a few concerts and events announced so far for which I’m super excited, but I really can’t wait to see what events the rest of the year will bring.
To begin, it’s easiest to start close to home, with the events that will be happening at the University of Regina. As usual, there are tons of events put on by different student associations to celebrate the beginning of the semester. The Living Skies Student Film Festival will be taking place at the U of R from March 2-4. The festival showcases student films from all around the world, and all of the screenings are free.
Regina has plenty of nice venues, and no matter what your interests are, there will be a show for everyone at some point this year. Regina has a large arts community, and in addition to the performers that are touring, there is also an abundance of local talent. Venue staples in Regina are the Globe Theatre, the Conexus Arts Centre, and of course the Brandt Centre, but there are also smaller venues, like the Artesian and the Exchange, that focus on showcasing local talent. Every single one of these venues has many exciting shows to offer so far in 2017, with many more to be announced as the year goes on.
The Globe Theatre is a crucial part of the city, as one of the few venues where you can see live theatre, which is a huge plus for me. The Globe still has four shows on the main stage for the 2016-17 season. The first show of 2017, running from January 18 to February 5, will be Salt Baby, a play about how a young Indigenous woman struggles to find her place in society and in her culture. Then, running March 1-19, The Last Wife, a contemporary look at the relationship between Katherine Parr and Henry VIII. Key Change will run from April 12-30, but I’m most looking forward to the season finale: The Little Mermaid, which will run from May 24-June 11. There are also many great shows that will run this year as part of the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series, which can often run underrated. The series includes Root, Hog or Die, from January 19-28; Displaced, from February 9-18; and Thunderstick from March 9-18.
The Conexus Arts Centre also has a variety of shows that have been announced so far this year, including musicals, concerts, and a ballet. As far as concerts, there will be many different acts, from all kinds of music genres. The year begins with Blue Rodeo on January 13, then, Dwight Yoakam will be performing on January 16. Other concerts will include Colin James on February 27, Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt on March 1, and Tom Cochrane with Red Rider on March 12, as well as a few others that will be taking place later in the year. Musicals at the Conexus Arts Centre this year include Saturday Night Fever on January 31, Dirty Dancing on March 28 and 29, and more. Finally, one of the annual events that I look forward to the most is the ballet. This year, Ballet Jörgen Canada will be touring to Regina, as opposed to the usual appearance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Ballet Jörgen’s performance of one of my favourite ballets, Swan Lake, will be on March 15.
Of course, there are the usual sporting events at the Brandt Centre, but there are also many other events that have been announced as well. Events at the Brandt Centre tend to get a ton of publicity, and thus draw a huge crowd. Although I’m sure personal taste will make some of these events cringe worthy, there are many other people that are super excited for them. This year, the big events so far are Billy Talent on February 22, Jeff Dunham on March 26 and the “I Love the ‘90s” tour on April 1. Furthermore, obviously, there has to be a big name band to celebrate the opening of the new Mosaic Stadium. So, on August 27, Guns N’ Roses will be the first band to perform a concert at the new stadium. They would blow the roof off, if the stadium had one.
Festivals are usually a huge draw to the city, and the lineup tends to be what makes or breaks a festival. The first few festivals of the year will be taking place in January and February. The first is Regina Folk Festival’s Winterruption from January 19-21, with performances by Elliott Brood, Rosie & the Riveters, Said the Whale, and many more. Then, the 23rd annual Mid-Winter Blues Festival will be taking place from February 25 to March 4. Performances at this festival include the 24th Street Wailers, Spellbound, Billy Joe Green, and more. All the performances in both festivals will be taking place throughout the city, with most taking place at the Artesian or the Exchange, among other venues, so make sure to keep your eye open for these great shows.
In addition to all these events, 2017 marks Canada 150, which means it has been 150 years since Confederation in 1867. This milestone is super important to Canada, and therefore will include some extra special things not only for Canada Day, but throughout the whole year. For one, all Canadian national parks are free with a Discovery Pass that you can order online. Keep an eye out for more information about the events celebrating Canada 150, and take advantage of the time to learn more about Canada’s history.