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Regina, Saskatchewan

By Kim Ireton

Fanatic about football, manic about gophers, and laid back about everything else. Is that how you would want to be described? I guess it’s not a bad depiction. It is, after all, how Regina’s residents are often defined. However, like many first impressions, there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. So let’s delve a bit deeper shall we…

Friendly, down to earth, and terribly easygoing. Now there are some descriptors that get a bit closer to the heart of Regina’s people. But admittedly, they’re still a bit too bland, too ho-hum. So, after enjoying a 13th Avenue Coffee House latte with the rest of them, I think the best description goes something like this: serene while funky, and phlegmatic while unexpected, a mosaic of people who are definitely worth visiting!

Unfortunately, Regina is often one of those, “I only drive through on my way to ---” places. As a result, far too few people have experienced some of Canada’s most charming citizens. Therefore, why not a few first-hand stories about the people I met while in Regina. Maybe you’ll be enticed to stop by for awhile.

One evening I went and saw a play at the local theatre. After striking up a conversation with two women sitting next to me, they proceeded to offer me a ride home after the show (when they found out I had taken the bus). They simply hated the thought of me making my way home alone in the dark. I was astounded by their honest care for a total stranger!

And it’s a care that is not unique. I attended a church service Easter Sunday morning, and was promptly invited to Easter dinner when a couple found out I was alone in the city. A stranger helped me change a flat tire one morning. Another helped me shovel out my car during a surprise spring blizzard. A focus on helping others abounds in Regina…but not without a partying spirit.

Can you say that you once saw a dozen university students cycle naked through a packed restaurant? I can!! (The Freehouse is known for being an intriguing eatery.) I also met many an eccentric artist - selling everything from penny-covered cars to tree bark sculptures – during the Cathedral Arts Festival. Another one-of-a-kind experience.

And I am convinced that nowhere else in the world can a person party with thousands of grown adults wearing watermelons on their heads, in support of the beloved, home town Saskatchewan Roughriders.

So here’s the invitation…next time you're on your way to Alberta, stopover in Regina, and say hello to the people. They're more than eager to talk to a total stranger about…anything! The Riders or the latest movie being filmed at the Sound Stage are some favorite conversation topics, but the weather or mullets will also do. Oh, and while you’re at it, spring for a couple beer and clams. Then you’ll be a friend for life!

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