Archive for the ‘Saskatchewan’ Category

New Festival For Saskatoon

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Saskatoon welcomes its newest festival this weekend with the first ever Word on the Street in Saskatoon joining other Canadian cities from Halifax to Vancouver. The event began in Toronto in 1990. Organizers promise a fair-like atmosphere with plenty of family activities and a total of 29 writers will read from their works, respond to questions from the public and sign books. One of those readers is my mom, Marie Donais Calder, with her books series “The Other Side Series”.

She has published 5 books already in the series with the 6th one on its way, due to arrive in stores mid October. She will also be at the Saskatoon Public Library on Friday afternoon to present and read from her 5th book, “Torn”.

When it comes to library use and buying books, Saskatoon is at the top of national figures and our city is also home to writers of high achievement. There are 4 Governor General Award winners who live here as well as the Man Booker Prize winner and Griffin Poetry prize winner.

The exhibit will take place at the public library facilities and will be hosted in front of the Frances Morrison Library downtown and at City Hall, with the street in between closed and tents set up along the street. It will be sort of like a farmer’s market for books. The event is free and it runs from 11-5 on Sunday and the weather is supposed to be nice so hopefully the turn out is great! Unfortunately I am off with many of my Saskatoon Century 21 agent colleagues to our national convention in Edmonton where I will be receiving a Centurion Award for my Saskatoon real estate sales in 2010 so I will not be able to be here to support my mom and the community for this first time festival.

If you get a chance please stop in and support our city’s festivals as well as my mom!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Kind of a Funny Start to a Serious Blog

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

 The other day my mom was in town to promote her books series, “The Other Side Series” and I was on my way to see her at McNalley Robinson here in Saskatoon when I stopped off at Tim Hortons on 8th Street. There were 3 people in electric wheelchairs trying to get into the entrance. I stopped to open the first door and it was quite the spectacle. We were all laughing by the end as there are 2 doors that can open with the button and I, and the first man in the wheelchair who we finally got through the first door, hit the wrong one at least twice each which would hit the 2nd person coming through…you can imagine this took a few minutes. There were about 5 people sitting near the door watching this all and seeing that I couldn’t get the 2nd door open while holding the first and not ONE got up to offer assistance. Seriously!? I commented to the first man about people getting off their arses to help as we had kind of built a rapport by the end of this and he just shook his head and said he was used to it. I wondered if people are reluctant to help people with handicaps as they think it could be taken the wrong way? I ask if they would like help when I see they could use help and have very rarely been turned away.

Then I had to stop off to pick up my dad from Superstore on 8th Street and a lady had too many items in her hand and was dropping things. I saw this, also saw the 10+ people watching her, and stepped out of line to give her a hand. She was so grateful and again, we had a laugh, but I was disappointed that no one else could be bothered to help. At least no one tried to step in my spot in line!

These are the 2 back to back events that triggered my awareness of how less likely people are to lift a hand to help now than I think they were even a few years ago. Is it because of our changing population? Or is it our laziness and lack of compassion as a society?  Or is it just a coincidence? I’m not sure, but I do know that I was brought up to help people in need no matter who they are or what their situation is and I thank my parents for that.

 I have been noticing a lack of compassion and willingness to help lately in Saskatoon and was wondering if it was just my imagination or are we getting to be as bad as other places? After reading this article about a Regina man left to drown while his friend desperately tried to find someone to help my suspicions were confirmed.

Reading the sad story about an aboriginal man in Regina who couldn’t even get someone to call 911 to help his drowning friend almost makes me sick. Thank you Lani Elliott for calling 911, unfortunately she came along about 30 minutes too late and his friend had drowned. It is a phone call and, whether you believe someone or not, if someone is asking for help and asking you to call 911, who wouldn’t do it?? Let the police sort it out if it isn’t true but why take the risk? That guilt is hard to live with and I would imagine the people that know he was asking for help are now feeling pretty bad about their decision. If the man had been a clean cut caucasion man you know the call would have been made…instantly.

So what is becoming of the people of Saskatchewan? We used to be infamous for our friendliness but I see that changing. I hope to hear more good samaratin type stories soon as I do know that the media likes to focus on the negative but when I see evidence with my own experiences I don’t know what can be done. It starts with each individual and the whole ‘pay it forward’ attitude needs to grow.

As a real estate agent in Saskatoon I want to go that extra mile whether it be in my career with my Saskatoon real estate clients or just with the general public and lend a hand when I have one to lend. I don’t have a lot of spare time to be part of boards and I only volunteer with one group on a regular basis but I think it is the day to day things that we do that don’t get recognition that people are less likely to do if they are always looking for a reward or recognition. So do some people just volunteer with groups as it looks good on paper and on a resume and for bragging rights or do those same people also help just because that is the type of people they are? There are a lot of people out there volunteering in day to day life, whether it be holding a door, helping someone with their bags, or giving them a hand crossing the street so next time you see someone in need of a bit of help I hope that you offer.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Recycling News

Monday, September 12th, 2011

I am an avid recycler…so much so that when my inlaws come to my house they just leave all of their garbage on the counter so that they don’t put something in the wrong bin in my pantry. I recently made the switch to the single stream Loraas program, All Green Recycling, after being a Saskatoon Curbside client for over 5 years. Whenever I sell a house in Saskatoon and my new buyers take possession I would always give out a flyer for Saskatoon Curbside. Many of my Saskatoon real estate clients also used Curbside. The choice was due to the types of boxes used by both parties and, in a sometimes windy area of Willowgrove, Saskatoon Curbside’s containers weren’t securing my recycle so it would end up in my neighbours yard from time to time.

I wasn’t surprised to see today that Loraas bought out Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. I give Saskatoon Curbside a lot of credit for pioneering something in our city that should be mandatory in the first place so I hope that it is a good fit for both companies. It sounds like much of the management team will be absorbed into Loraas’s company.

Companies can still bid to the city for the recycling contract but I would hope that they would stay with Loraas as they are local and are doing a great job thus far in my opinion. It is just time to get recycling in EVERY home as it is disappointing to see my neighbours trash cans filled with cardboard, tin, etc. With the way the city of Saskatoon is growing we need to create less waste. The Saskatoon real estate market is a good indicator as to how many people are moving to our city every month and our Saskatoon real estate market has not slowed down so we can see the need for better infrastructure and waste management programs.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

After Over 5 Years I Had To End This Relationship…

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

With Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. I recently switched from using Saskatoon Curbside Recycling, who is a small start up company, to the All Green Recycling Program from the well known name of Loraas. I was reluctant to end my 5 year relationship with Saskatoon Curbside Recycling as they have been great to deal with and they were pioneeers here in Saskatoon to get the recycling program up and running and I give them a lot of credit.

Sadly, it came down to the bins. Loraas offers a large bin similar to our garbage cans that can accomodate all of my recycling (for 2 people we recycle a LOT!!) whereas Curbside had 2 separate boxes that, when set out by 8am and not necessarily picked up until later in the day, often resulted in my neighbours in Willowgrove ending up with my recycling on their front lawn.

Every delay the City of Saskatoon has in making a decision and accepting a bid means more and more recyclable material ending up in the landfill. They are considering 2 different companies; one to collect and one to process. I think that is a big problem as the company who collects isn’t going to care what gets collected as they just drop it off to the company that processes it and leaves them to sort it out. According to the Star Phoenix article today it will be at least another 2 months before the city starts accepting bids from companies to run the $29-million household recycling pickup program due to last minute changes to the bid guidelines.

As one of the fastest growing regions in Canada we need to get on this program! I have had lots of people buying houses for sale in Saskatoon who are from out of province and they just can’t get over our lack of mandatory recycling here. I even had one first time home buyer in Saskatoon from Ontario ask me about our garbage pick up as they had to put everything in CLEAR plastic bags and if there was anything in there that was recyclable their garbage wouldn’t get picked up that week.

Well hopefully Saskatoon gets its recycling together and makes this mandatory sooner than later as I am definitely frustrated when I walk by garbage bins full of cardboard and plastics because people are too lazy to drive to the larger recycling centres!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Attempting to have a summer life in Saskatoon!

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

As a Saskatoon real estate agent I am usually a little bit slower in the summer, but not this summer! The Saskatoon real estate market has been a busy one this year and I have not been able to slow down for a moment! It is amazing and sad at how fast time flies, especially the older you get. I now understand what ‘old people’ (when we were10 people my age seemed ancient!!) were talking about.

There have been many great festivals and events in Saskatoon already this summer. I am happy to say I was able to enjoy one of my favourites, Taste of Saskatchewan, at least twice. I love food so this is one not to miss. I actually bit the bullet and shared a Deep Fried Mars Bar with my fiance as well…I knew why we shared and why I hadn’t done it in 3 years shortly after biting in as it is the richest dessert I have ever eaten!

I am excited to say I will be heading to see Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan tonight for my first time ever! I did miss the Saskatoon Exhibition this year. Usually I like to pop in at least once to check things out but I was too busy selling houses for sale in Saskatoon this year to make it by even for an hour.

Now that summer is coming close to an end I am finding I need to make more time to enjoy the festivities but it is a fine balancing act with my career as a realtor in Saskatoon. Luckily I sleep less in the summer! The next festivity I will look forward to is Folk Fest this weekend.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Saskatoon-High in Crime? Good Job CBC!

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

I love how, right on the heels of an article that people in Saskatchewan have a cheery outlook on our economy and that Saskatchewan’s economy will be doing better than the national average, CBC prints news that we have the highest overall crime rate (and of course Winnipeg as their economic forecast is also pretty good!)

It seems to happen often like this. One article will bring people looking for job opportunities in Saskatoon or Saskatchewan and as a result the newsmakers will print a downer article to make people question if their lives are at stake if they come to Saskatchewan!? Maybe I am just jaded about the news industry, but I see it happen quite often so I don’t think it is a mere coincidence. CBC writers who are more than likely not from Saskatchewan?

What they always fail to mention about our crime statistics and and number of murders is that they are typically gang related and happen in the core neighbourhoods so 95% of the population is not affected by it. I have had people looking to buy houses for sale in Saskatoon who were worried because of ‘news’ like this. I am always sure to take them into the areas they will want to avoid. They are small and people should not lump in the rest of the west side of Saskatoon as there are loads of beautiful neighbourhoods on Saskatoon’s west side.

This map of murders though shows a more accurate story,-106.675694&spn=0.072763,0.153714&source=embed 

Saskatoon, and Saskatchewan in general, is one of the leading markets for economy, real estate, etc so it isn’t surprising that we also get negative publicity. I have certainly lived and traveled in scarier places in the world so take what you read with a grain of salt…as always! Saskatoon real estate is still a great investment and will continue to be so in the future in my opinion.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Century 21 Conexus Changed to Century 21 Fusion

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

I should write about a change in Century 21 Saskatoon that took place on July 1. We went from working under a bank, Conexus Credit Union, to becoming owned by Saskatoon real estate agents in less than a month. This was a good move for everyone I feel. We had our hands tied with the beauracracy of working under a banking system since I became a real estate agent in Saskatoon over 4 years ago. Conexus has now, I believe, sold off all of the Century 21 franchises across Saskatchewan.

Three Saskatoon real estate agents (and 1 spouse) purchased the Century 21 Saskatoon franchise and we are now called Century 21 Fusion. We take pride in advancing with technology while excelling at Saskatoon real estate sales. Gary Busch and Barry & Sandy Chilliak are the new agent/owners of Century 21 Saskatoon (Century 21 Fusion).

Some people ask me if it is a conflict of interest to have our Saskatoon real estate company owned by realtors in Saskatoon but little do they know Century 21 was one of the only ones that was not owned by Saskatoon real estate agents. So, is it a conflict of interest? Only if the owners are cherry picking the best listings when people call our company and are looking for a Saskatoon real estate agent to list their home for sale in Saskatoon.

Do I mind? If I minded I would have packed up my bags and left! With my 4 year annivesary having just passed as being a Realtor in Saskatoon I have not wavered from Century 21 Saskatoon as I enjoy my colleagues and I see the advantage of working with such a cohesive company. We have different things to offer than other brokerages in Saskatoon so I’m proudly sticking with them.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Who Really Wins in a Messy Divorce?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Buying lottery tickets in Saskatoon with the aim to win the largest prize of all, the Lottery Showhome, is commonplace in Saskatoon and we have many opportunities every year. The Lottery Showhomes, typically located at the presitgious Saskatoon Willows Golf Course and subdivision, are always stunning and jam packed with hopeful ticket buyers. It all goes to a good cause with proceeds going to various charity organizations.

A recent CBC story about previous Lottery showhome winners really struck close to home as I was personally involved in the attempt to sell the home that was the centre of a long dispute between an estranged husband and wife. CBC news reported that my 1/2 of the sellers won the battle but it would be hard to say anyone ‘won’ in this case. Knowing my client as I do and the relationship he has with his boys I am happy it has all worked out for him but the expense and more importantly the time spent fighting is something they can’t get back.

Often when we see Saskatoon houses for sale they are the result of something negative like a separation, divorce, death, etc. Always a nice change when I meet sellers of Saskatoon homes who are selling their home in Saskatoon because they are combining households with marriage. Unfortunately though divorce definitely keeps the Saskatoon real estate market, and any other market in north america for sure, busy.

Moral of the story; money doesn’t buy happiness. Having a house is not necessarily having a home.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Looking Forward to Cirque du Soleil’s Drallion!

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

I will be taking an evening off from selling houses for sale in Saskatoon tonight by attending a Cirque du Soleil show here in Saskatoon. I am sure I will still be checking my phone as I am a dedicated real estate agent in Saskatoon and somewhat a workaholic, but I won’t be out showing houses for sale in Saskatoon tonight.

A group of friends, my fiance, and myself have been looking forward to this evening for a few months. I actually only got to see my first true Cirque show in Vegas in May and I was BLOWN away! We will be attending the opening show tonight so hopefully they will have worked out any hiccups during their rehearsals.

Dralion runs tonight until Sunday at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon (aka Sask Place for those who know it as that!) I believe tickets are still available. It will be interesting to see how the performance and stunts differ from the stages that are built around the performances as this is a traveling act. At any rate, whatever they do it is all amazing to me as I give credit to the performers for their strength, agility, grace, etc.

It is great to see more shows coming to Saskatoon as our city’s population grows and the arts scene keeps on growing with it!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Vancouver-how embarassing!

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

While I am more of a bandwagon hockey fan and am always proud to support Canadian teams (although they are most often just owned by Canada and not many Canadians actually ON the teams!?) I am embarassed by some of the fans in Vancouver after last nights loss. Going to game 7 and losing is nothing to be ashamed or angered about yet out of hand fans who were fuelled by drinking and mass hysteria gave in to the mob mentality and destroyed our reputation and a lot of physical property.

Normally us Canadians are so proud to be Canadian we wear our flags on our sleeves and our backpacks and wherever else we can stick it. Unfortunately, this incident has made national and world wide news and gained a lot of attention and will forever be remembered by the world. I’m still proud to be Canadian but happy to be from Saskatoon!

Unfortunate how such a small group of angry people can destroy an image. It was nice to see others in the crowd stand up to these troublemakers at the risk of having themselves harmed but to do the right thing. 100,000 people in one square can lead to disaster when people get out of hand and what could have been a good example of how peaceful Canadians are and how proud we are of our teams instead is a worldwide embarassment.

In the age of technology I am thankful that many of these guys will be caught and charged and hopefully will face lasting consequences to their stupidity.

I look forward to meeting with some clients this weekend who are looking at buying one of the houses for sale in Saskatoon and are coming from BC to see their reaction to the events. I also have a couple of Saskatoon real estate clients who have recently sold their house in Saskatoon and moved to British Columbia so I will be sure to touch base with them to see how this has affected them.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, SK