Regina Writer Nominated for Prize

It was announced today that veteran Regina writer Connie Gault had made the regional short-list for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for her 2009 novel Euphoria. Published by Coteau Books, the story is set in Regina in the immediate aftermath of the 1912 cyclone. A young woman named Orillia Cooper wakes up in the hospital with no idea of who she is and how she got there. She's soon visited by a woman named Gladdie McConnell who expresses concern for her welfare. From there the story flashes back to Toronto in the 1880s where we learn about the origins of their relationship.

Administered by the Commonwealth Foundation, the Writers' Prize includes both Best Book and Best First Book categories. In the initial round, six or seven books in each category are nominated in four regions: Africa, Caribbean & Canada, South Asia & Europe and South East Asia & Pacific. Past Canadian nominees include Alice Munro, Austin Clarke and Anne Michaels.

According to the Commonwealth Foundation, once finalists in each region are determined, they will be brought together in Dehli, India where the winners for the Best Book and First Book awards will be announced on April 12.

So good luck to Connie.

Friday Afternoon Kitty!

I used to watch this strangely hypnotic video on a regular basis when I was in university. This would usually result in the song being stuck in my head for days. Years later, I still catch myself singing it to myself sometimes-- saying sexy things to myself when I'm dancing.

It's an internet oldie by now, but nonetheless IT WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS.

Pick of the Day: The Bombers

The Bombers are playing in LaRonge tonight. They're also playing in Regina. How can they play in two places at once? By being two different Bombers. The ones who are playing in LaRonge are the Flin Flon Bombers of the SJHL. They currently sit first in the Bauer Conference with 76 points. Only the Sherwood Conference-leading Weyburn Red Wings, with 78 points, have a better league record. The LaRonge Wolves are having an okay year too. Right now, they're fourth in the Bauer with 62 points. So should be a good match-up.

Meanwhile, in Regina, the Hot Blood Bombers will be storming the stage at O'Hanlon's Pub with Ian LaRue & the Condors backing them up. The hard-rocking Regina trio have been on the road a fair bit lately. When I last spoke to guitarist/vocalist Dave Schneider in September he said he and bandmates Herb Exner (drums) and Shane Grass (bass) had laid down 13 new tracks for an album that would be released in 2010. So keep an eye out.

Ian LaRue & the Condors played Lydia's in Saskatoon last night. In a preview last issue, our sister paper Planet S described LaRue as possessing a "darkly emotive" songwriting style. He and his band hail from ... oh, this is too rich. They hail from Winnipeg. Home to the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Here's video of the follow-up to the Best of Regina commercial we ran last year on CBC-TV where we used the Hot Blood Bombers' tune "Cold City" for the soundtrack. Enjoy. (Facebook)

Also on tap tonight at the Club is a Grassroots Regina gig headlining Jory Nash with local singer-songwriter John Fettes backing him up. Here's video of Nash doing Gordon Lightfoot's song "If You Could Read My Mind" from a Toronto tribute show in January 2009. (YouTube)