That was completely unexpected.
I was wandering through Victoria Park after spending a few hours in the library working on ‘Highwaymen’. The city was full of hooting, howling Roughrider jersey clad pedestrians and even the odd Bluebomber fan was seen out and about. There was a parade earlier, a Roughrider art exhibit in the Dunlop, and games for kids in the park. The whole city seemed to be caught up in that weekend long beer buzz going around called, ‘The Labour Day Classic’.
So I took a left down Scarth Street and saw someone waving at me from O’Hanlon’s. I crossed to see who it was and it turned out to be two of the creatures who work behind the counter at Atlantis, Eric and Carl. I know Eric from a theatre class we took together, but this was my first non-Atlantis conversation with Carl. Their friend Jenn was sitting beside me.
Small talk turned into a rather engaging conversation, so I ordered a pint. One pint turned into three, plus a share of a Spinach and Feta Pizza. In the meantime Carrie joined us after Carl left and ordered a round of shots. Carrie already knew me but I couldn’t remember her at first. It hit me about two hours into the conversation — she dated a guy who worked for me about five years ago.
From O’Hanlon’s we headed over to Jenn’s apartment, two blocks away (after making a pit stop at an off-sale). Jenn’s friend Bret met us at the door and we all headed in together. I met Bret six years ago when I first started taking theatre classes. She didn’t remember me. Fair is fair.
So now we’re all sitting on the floor of Jenn’s apartment drinking Pilsner and talking about art, money, Toronto, Regina and more. Both Bret and Carrie have recently ‘temporarily’ returned home from stints in Toronto. They both talked about feeling the strong pull of Regina quick sand.
This ‘quick sand’ is what we figured out is quality that characterizes Regina. Carrie talked about showing up and being given the Regina blanket to wear, a cigarette in one hand and a pint in the other. Didn’t even ask for it. People just found her. Old friends, new friends, love, sharing, inspiration, opportunity, and warmth. Who in their right mind wants to walk away from that?
Toronto and other big cities have a lot of really cool things to offer. Regina can’t touch that right now, but why can’t we import that? We talked about working together to grow something here. Let’s call it the ‘Regina Pact’.
There are so many really great and interesting people in this community. So many quirky and creative things going on. On top of the really big things going on, let’s add to the fusion. Why not.
All it takes is the least amount of effort by a whole bunch of really special people.