Sep 2013

Workshops to Resume in 2014

Thanks to everyone who has emailed and asked if my Get Down To Business Workshops will be continued. I’m pleased to announce that I’m planning to travel to at least 4 different cities across the country, starting next February. In 2014 we will be partnering with PPA affiliate organizations. As soon as dates are confirmed I’ll post the information on this blog and send out a Tweet.

A Warm Welcome in Saskatoon

saskatoon berry
I was very pleased to be invited by Professional Photographers of Canada - Saskatchewan to present my 2-day Get Down To Business! Workshop at their August “Summer Inspiration” meeting. Before I traveled there, I studied up on the city of Saskatoon, where the event was held, as I had never visited this Canadian prairie province city before. It is located in central Saskatchewan on the South Saskatchewan River, which you could see from the hotel. With over 260,600 residents, it is the largest city in Saskatchewan. Turns out the city gets its name from the Cree noun “saskatoon berries,” because of the sweet violet-colored berries that grow in the area (more about the berries later). The city also is described as the "Bridge City” because of its seven river crossings.

river
4x6 Ann Monteith in Saskatoon PPOC 2013 cropped
Thanks to the hard work of Cyndie Knorr, who is in charge of education for the association, all the logistical considerations were taken care of, so my job was very easy. Thanks also to President Wayne Inverarity who took care of hauling the notebook materials and resources that Marathon was kind enough to provide, and I truly appreciated the wonderful hospitality extended to me by the association’s board members. I got a quick tour of downtown Saskatoon on the way to dinner at a fun restaurant located in a charming old building with an neat urban vibe.
4x6 3B7C1842e
I got great questions from the PPOC-S members, most of whom ran established studios, so the two days flew by for me. Of course it’s always easier to be on the speaking end than it is to be on the listening side of the equation! It was great to have such a congenial audience.
river_walk
Since my flight didn’t go out until later in the day after the workshop, PPOC-S member Shannon Brunner kindly took me on a driving and walking tour of the downtown area. I got a good look at “River Landing” an ongoing redevelopment area along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in downtown.
Shannon_Brunner
It was a beautiful day, so Shannon and I walked along the riverfront promenade walkway. Shannon is a 4-time winner of "Photographer of the Year,” and she also won 2013’s Best-in-Show Master's Award. You can view her outstanding photography on her website: www.shannonbrunner.com.
building Kids
It was great fun seeing the sights and watching the kids play in at a clever interpretive water feature that traces waterways as they flow through the provinces.

We concluded our visit at the wonderful Berry Barn, a popular local restaurant-retail-farm attraction, where I got to view Saskatoon berry bushes and taste the berries for myself. They grow on bushes that can reach heights of 15 feet, and they resemble blueberries in size as well as color. Although the taste is somewhat similar to a blueberry, they have a subtly sweet flavor, and I can’t say enough about how good the jam and the syrup are, which I tried out on waffles. Yum! Unfortunately commercial production of these berries presently is limited to Canada, where current demand exceeds the supply.

Sas_Berries Sas_berry_waffle
Another interesting facet of my trip was learning about Canada’s national Grand Masters Fiddle Competition, which Cyndi finished photographing the day before the workshop. Her three talented children participated in the competition, and Cyndi shared a link with me so that I could see and hear them perform. Wow are they good! So here’s a little bit of Saskatoon for you to enjoy . . .