A day in the Life of NHL player, Keith Aulie

Keith Aulie and the Saskatchewanderer

Every year, Keith Aulie returns to Saskatchewan to farm with his family. I caught up with him for a day in Regina and Rouleau, SK.

 

 

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Fly Fishing in Saskatchewan’s Southwest

Julio Salazar is an avid fly fisherman. He was generous enough to teach me the ropes of fly fishing in the beautiful Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. See photos here.

 

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Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Festival

 

Northern Lights Blue Grass and Old Tyme Music Festival

Music festivals are great. I love them. They are an opportunity to enjoy your favourite musicians, meet people in the community, and maybe discover some awesome new bands. In my opinion, summers aren’t complete without going to at least one! Luckily for us Saskatchewanians, there are many summer music festivals to choose from.

 

Each festival is unique, none more so than the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Festival which takes place at Ness Creek every August. The weekend is jammed pack with live music, dancing, horse shoes and nature walks. Bands are brought in from all across North America. Festival goers had the chance to experience the Los Texmaniacs from Texas, Le Vent Du Nord from Quebec, The Slocan Ramblers from Toronto and Jeff Scroggins and Colorado from.. you guessed it, Colorado. There were also a number of local artists and bands, rightfully called ‘tweeners,’ who played sets between the headliners. In total, I counted twenty-four musical acts!

 

There is also a music camp that takes place the week before the festival. The coolest part about it—the instructors of the camp are some of the headlining musicians of the festival. It’s an amazing chance for new musicians to learn their instruments from the best of the best. It’s also an excellent networking opportunity.

The camp is open to all skill levels and anyone aged five or older. There were 130 students this year, ranging from kids and teens fine-tuning their skills, to some folks in their seventies who were taking beginner guitar lessons. If you’ve ever wanted to learn an instrument but felt like you never had the time, this music camp would be a great way to learn!

Tracy Lalonde is the Music Camp Coordinator and Chairperson of the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Society. She feels passionate about keeping bluegrass and old tyme music alive! She remembers the days of her childhood that were spent around a campfire or in a kitchen singing along to acoustic instruments. The goal of the camp and of the festival is to preserve and promote bluegrass and old tyme music for generations to come.

I think it’s working.

At last year’s festival, three teenage students from camp decided to form a band. They’d known each other for a few years, reconnecting each summer at the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Camp. Finally they got together for some late-night jamming and realized they had something special.

In with the Old was born. And they’ve been busy. In the last year they’ve played at a handful of events, including Telemiracle, The Saskatchewan Country Music Awards, John Arcand Fiddle Fest, Flute and Fiddle in Birch Hills, and the Pickers’ Cup. They’ve played at house concerts, BonTemps Cafe, and The Bassment. If that’s not enough, they’ve also recorded and released a CD! Wow.

The band’s founders, Jaxson Lalonde,15, Kasia Thorlakson,18, and Ellen Froese-Kooijenga,18, have a strong passion for music. They describe their style as folk old tyme with bluegrass influences and they get inspiration from all around. They love coming to the Northern Lights Camp and Festival to meet musicians who are making it in the folk/old tyme/ bluegrass scene. It motivates them to be the best musicians they can be!

In with the Old has so much passion for music and performing. They are proof that bluegrass and old tyme music is still alive and thriving!

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The Athabasca Sand Dunes

This was the trip of a lifetime! The Athabasca Sand Dunes are the most northerly sand dunes in the world… right in our backyard!

Saskatchewanderer atop a dune in the Athabasca Sand Dunes


 

See more photos HERE.

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I joined the RCMP! Only for 24 hours…

What a fun adventure! Myself and 13 other media bloggers spent a day in the life as an RCMP cadet at Depot Division in Regina. Cadets are usually in training for 6 months, but they made an exception for us! We were called ‘M Troop” which we were told stood for “Media Troop” but it was more likely “Motley Troop.” You’ll know what I mean when you see us trying to march…

Enjoy!

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Yann Martel Loves living in Saskatchewan

Life of Pi author, Yann Martel, chose to live in Saskatoon several years ago. Why? Watch these videos to find out! He is so well-spoken, and I think you’ll be able to agree with some of his answers!

Watch this 25 second video first:

 

 

Then watch the full interview here:

 

 

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Hiking Saskatchewan’s Boreal Trail

Saskatchewan’s longest hiking trail! See what you’ve been missing out on!

 

 

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Windscape Kite Festival

Swift Current hosts an amazing festival every year – the Windscape Kite Festival. There were some pretty sweet kites in the sky, watch my video to see my favourite!

 

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Seeding with Seedmaster!

Who knew seeding could be so amazing!? I didn’t, until I tried it. Thanks for a fun day, SeedMaster!

 

 

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Farm Progress Show

 

Farm Progress Show

Did anyone else get lost a little lost at the Farm Progress Show? I did. How could I not? There was more that 1.9 million square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Just let that sink in for a second.

I did eventually find my way. After asking a few people for directions, one friendly family yelled “Follow us!” and I made it to my destination: The Farm Credit Canada Innovation Centre.

Every year companies submit their latest and greatest innovations in hopes of being chosen to display their products at the Farm Progress Show. Being chosen to exhibit a product at the show is a huge opportunity for companies. More than 45 thousand people attend the Farm Progress Show every year (over 40,000 this year) —that’s a lot of potential buyers!

 Farm Progress Show Eric Gray

 

There were at least a dozen potential buyers hovering around Eric Gray’s booth. He invented “FenderXtenders.” You know those giant high-clearance sprayers you see out in the fields during the summer? Most farmers have two sets of wheels for them – narrow ones for dry weather and wide ones for muddy, wet weather. Sounds simple enough, right? BUT there is a problem. Most sprayers are sold with only one set of narrow fenders. Why is this a problem? Because they fling mud and rocks everywhere. It is possible to buy a wider set of fenders, but they can be expensive and installation is often time consuming.

Eric has designed a way to attach an extra fender to the machine’s existing fender, doubling the width while cutting down on the installation time. Having a fender that is as wide as the wheel greatly decreases the amount of flying mud and debris.

Farm Progress Show

By cutting down on the amount of mud tossed around, nozzles are less likely to be broken, there is less corrosion caused by mud on the sprayer, and fewer man hours are spent washing a sprayer at the end of the day. The fenders also decrease the chances of spreading soil-borne diseases.

As I photographed the FenderXtenders, an observer standing beside me mentioned that one of their sprayer mirrors was recently broken by flying debris.

I don’t come from a farming background, but Eric’s idea sure seems like a good one, and others seem to think so, too!

Speaking of forward-thinking people, have you ever heard of the “Outstanding Young Farmers” program?

Farmn Progress Show Outstanding Young Farmers

 

It’s a Canada-wide program that celebrates the accomplishments of farmers and farm couples under the age of 40. Each year, one couple from seven regions across Canada is selected as the “Outstanding Young Farmers” of their region. Eligible nominees are judged based on a number of criteria, including progress made during their farming career; water, soil and energy conservation practices; crop and livestock production history; financial and management practices; and, contributions to their community, province and nation.

On the final day of the Farm Progress Show, the Outstanding Young Farmers of the Saskatchewan region were selected. Adrienne and Aaron Ivey from Ituna, SK took home the title. They’ve operated a mixed cattle and grain farm since 2000. Both have degrees in agriculture, and are very involved in steering committees and other group funding projects that focus on foraging and beef research.

They were surprised and honoured to be nominated and then receive the award. They both said they enjoyed looking back on the last 15 years and reflecting on how they got to where they are today.

The couple will compete for the national title against six other couples from across Canada this November in Quebec City. I wish them all the best!

I had a great time at the Farm Progress Show. It was inspiring to meet so many people who are passionate about improving agriculture through their own farming practices and through innovative new technologies.

 

 

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