Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 2012 Cover Photo Shoot Iphone

Nadia Williamson of NWL Dress Shop, our cover entrepreneur, stepped into the frame.  The sight of her standing in the field of white against a perfect blue sky took my breath away. Here are the pictures that I took with my iPhone to capture this magical moment. 

Greg Huszar and Lorrie Ritter at Salon 306 


Carmen, from Salon 306, accompanied us to the site. 

Lynn Armstrong, Publisher with Lorrie Ritter, former Publisher at Salon 306

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December SKY: Pre-nuptial or Co-habitation Agreements

Protect your assets with a Pre-nuptial or Co-habitation Agreement


 by Ruth Pradzynski 

Pre-nuptial agreements are uncomfortable things for people to think about. 

“If we enter into a Pre-nuptial agreement are we jinxing our marriage – assuming that it isn’t going to work?” 

But there are a number of situations in which a Pre-nuptial agreement or a Co-habitation agreement are simply a must.

1.     When entering a relationship in which one person has significantly more assets than the other. 

Let’s say that Shelly (23) has invited Mike (25), her boy friend, to move in with her.
Shelly has already purchased her first home, with the gift of the down-payment from her parents.
They aren’t getting married – they’re just “trying out” their relationship.

Saskatchewan has now changed the definition of “spouse” in a number of it’s statutes, to include “common law spouse” – being defined as either an opposite sex or same sex partner who has resided with the person for a period of at least two years. 

Supposing the relationship breaks down after 2 ½ years; Mike can now claim 50% of the equity in the “matrimonial home” – the house where they lived together -- under the Family Property Act, and it is a very strong presumption under that Act that the home is shared equally, regardless of the contribution of each party.

2.     In a second marriage or second relationship, in which there are children from the first marriage. 

 I have recently seen a number of situations in which the wife of an older couple dies, and the husband re-marries a year or so later. 

In many cases, without a pre-nuptial agreement, what the husband is effectively doing, is cutting off the inheritance of his children from his first marriage. If he pre-deceases his new spouse, (which is quite likely to happen), irrespective of the terms of his will, his wife is entitled, under the Dependants Relief Act, or the Intestate Succession Act, to the first $100,000 of value from the estate, and one third of the rest of the estate. 

For a marriage of short duration, this can seem quite unfair to the family, and can lead to bitterness and hard feelings.

These problems can be eliminated by the use of a well drawn Pre-nuptial or Co-habitation agreement.

Ruth Pradzynski is a lawyer with 30 years experience practicing with A.R.E. Law

A R E Law

1758 McAra St, Regina, SK S4N 6L4
 Get directions

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 2012 - Horse Sense Blog

A Horse Loving Prairie Accountant’s Perspective

By Lorelei Johns  

My horse Red inspires me. He is a 5 year-old, 590 kilogram gelding who at times, challenges my leadership, especially when we disagree on things like direction and strategy. He wants to zig, when I am thinking zag. He wants to gallop when I am in the mood for a slow walk.  At first, I was intimidated by his size, power and stature.  The more time I spent with him, the more I began to understand what it means when he flicks his ear, swishes his tail or stomps his foot. We have developed a trust and a respect as a result.
 Off the pasture, I work with non-profits navigating requirements through accounting, auditing, assurance services and governance expertise.  As we move into the Audit season, emotions can ride high.  Just like my relationship with Red, I have found that respectful, two-way communication and good process is the key to working together.

Standards are constantly changing like the wind. Audit planning has changed significantly since the new Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS) became effective for fiscal years ending on or after December 14, 2010.  One of the most important changes is that communication between the auditor, management, audit committee, and board of directors is now mandatory.

I recommend a face-to-face meeting with the board of directors to provide a smoother and happier audit trail.  Just as Red and I have discovered, direct, understandable one-to-one communication is the foundation of a strong relationship.

Here are some helpful tips to creating a happy audit trail.
·       Establish an audit plan that outlines the scope of the audit.
·       Ensure two-way communication  timely and in line with the requirements.
·       Discuss critical factors one-to-one on a timely basis.
·       Remember your audience. Your members and your banker must feel confident that the statements are fairly presented. The board and management are looking for an interpretation of financial performance, ideas on how to improve internal controls and advice on any other significant matters. 
·       Consult your auditor throughout the year regarding any changes to your industry, organization, business processes, accounting and auditing standards and governance.

Lorelei Johns is a regular contributor to SKY Magazine.  She is a Regina-based Chartered Accountant whose practice focuses on non-profit organizations. If you have any comments, or if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in a future blog, please Contact Lorelei at or through her website at

Salon 306: A Hollywood Flair

The Salon where the magic happens.  
Salon 306. is a premier salon in Regina, inspired by owner Nicole Dumelie’s love of hair and her flair for the Hollywood experience.  

The current location on South Albert is now expanded and refurbished for an upscale, Hollywood effect, with dramatic lighting and wall coverings. In 2013, Salon 306. will be opening a salon spa in Moose Jaw, which will include esthetics, as well as hair, makeup, nails and massage.

Nicole’s career started 25 years ago, with 17 years in Los Angeles. There, she apprenticed under world-renowned colourist Louis Licari in Beverly Hills. Louis introduced her to the film industry with a focus on how hair colour can bring a character to life.

She became known to A-listers in Hollywood as a hair colourist for stars such as Al Pacino, Meg Ryan, Farrah Fawcett, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster, Seth Green, Russell Crowe, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube and many more.

Nicole and her staff of 22 create the Hollywood effect in Regina at Salon 306. where they strive to provide each customer with the Hollywood "A-list" treatment.

Braxton & Carmen put the finishing
touches on Nadia's hair for the
cover shoot. 
Salon 306. is one of the largest salons in Regina offering full services in hair, esthetics and makeup. The salon is proud to represent Dermalogica, selling their quality products and offering the best pampering spa treatments with Dermalogica Skin Therapy Sessions.  Three highly trained estheticians are on staff for threading, nail art, manicures and pedicures.

Quality of the staff, an environment of teamwork and a commitment to apprenticeship and ongoing learning make this salon stand out. The salon invites all new and existing clients to pamper themselves through the holidays with one of our amazing spa treatments.

 “As new stylists join our Salon, they apprentice with a professional stylist for one year and continue their education in and out of the salon. When they reach their goals, they can begin to build their own clients”.

Salon 306. tips to pampering yourself in the season of white:

  • Moisture is the key.
 Deep Conditioning Treatments
  • Spa Pedicures and Manicures
  • Moisture Micro Zone Treatments while your color is processing
  • Spa Therapy Treatments

Salon 306.
4041 Albert Street
Phone 306.347.3306

NWL: Dreaming of Dresses on Hamilton

To walk through the doors of NWL on 1853 Hamilton is to walk onto the canvas of an impressionist artist awaiting your arrival. The bright white walls are adorned with an endless palette of color, sparkle, and texture.  

She walks along the rows of dresses, touching the fabrics, letting them roll off her fingertips.  She can’t help but imagine the stories that are yet to be lived in each dress. 

She imagines being a bride in a dreamy white gown, the soft fabric draping over her body, wistfully dancing off the ground with each step that she takes toward her future. She studies her silhouette with a discriminating eye, lost in the moment of what’s possible in this dress.

 A sequined blue sapphire dress catches her eye, calling out to her for her special night with her special someone this New Years Eve. Ball gowns of brightly colored taffeta dance against the wall, awaiting their special someone to bring them to life on the night of her life. 

“I love dresses, but more than that, I love seeing the joy they bring to my clients. It’s like all their hopes and dreams come to life when they see themselves in a gown”, says Nadia Williamson, owner.

NWL is a vision of beauty, a canvas where splashes of color and texture come together to create the stuff of which dreams are made.

The NWL experience is influenced by Nadia’s love for impressionist art and the movie industry, where fashion brings stories to life on screen and in life.

Nadia studied costume design at the University of Regina and later studied fashion, arts and design at LaSalle College in Montreal.  She launched her career as a fashion designer in the movie industry for more than 10 years.  

Six years ago, she opened the doors of NWL, bringing her love of fashion to life in Regina where she was born and raised.

"Each and every dress is a work of art unto itself."

“These dresses need to be architecture. The craftsmanship and the detail that goes into creating these dresses is nothing short of amazing.  The designers know a woman’s body and how to FIT it. 

They know us and how we want to feel when we step into an evening gown, a wedding dress or a cocktail dress.”

“What I love more than the dresses are my customers.  The relationship that we share when we are helping them find the perfect dress for an important event in their lives is what feeds me daily.  The beautiful dresses are like ice cream on a perfect cake."

Visiting NWL is always a new experience.  Each day the window is redressed to tell the story of a fantasy so that passers-by can catch a glimpse of these beautiful dresses. 

“When we get new dresses in the store, it’s like Christmas. We love imagining who could wear the dresses and what kind of event they would be worn at.  Each dress is unique – there are no two the same."

"We are not the highest priced dresses in the city; we just look like we are. The store has a very “New York” feel to it, but that’s the atmosphere we want to create.The NWL experience is brought to life by a team who are dedicated to creating the best experience possible.

“I especially want to thank my team, most of whom have been here from the beginning with me.  Amanda, Leslie and Teagan have been with me for five years.  Kayla, Nicole and Alex have been with me for two years.  I am so lucky to have such a committed and creative group of people.

We ask that our customers book an appointment so that we can dedicate ourselves to giving personalized service. We try to recommend the dresses that are going to be the best fit so they can have the most positive experience”.

  “When you come to NWL, we want you to play. To explore. To laugh and to fall in love."

Nadia Williamson, Owner
Amanda Dunnigan-Flottorp – Manager
Teagan Ell – Assistant Manager
Leslie Toms
Nicole Janes
Mel Zabinski
Kayla Bilokury
Alex Burnett

1853 Hamilton Street
Regina, Saskatchewan
Phone (306) 546.2246
Fax (306) 546.3343
Find NWL on facebook

Friday, December 14, 2012

King of the Arctic - December 2012 SKY Magazine

Photograph Provided by Todd Mintz

An Interview with Todd Mintz, Wildlife Photographer
By Lynn Armstrong, Publisher, SKY Magazine

They call him the King of the Arctic.  He has evolved over 5 million years to survive in arctic environments. He roams the ice floes, hunting at openings in the ice called leads.  He can grow to more than 600 Kg (1,320 pounds). His paws measure up to 12 inches across (31 centimeters).  His cheek teeth are sharp so he can shear off chunks of meat. He is a skilled hunter and can pick up a scent from over 30 kilometers away.  His canine teeth are long, sharp and widely spaced so he can seize and hold his prey of seals, Beluga whales and Narwhals.  He has no natural enemies and consequently, he is fearless.

Todd Mintz of Regina is within breathing distance of the King, camera at the ready, waiting to capture the great white bear in a photograph that tells the story of this moment so that others can see it too.  Todd hears his hot breath and the sounds of the bear. 

I asked him if he was afraid, and he said no.  “ I can’t say I have ever been afraid. Cautious yes. Careful, yes.  But afraid, no.  My first goal is to ensure the animal is safe. My second goal is to capture the image of the bear in his element. Sometimes I will wait for hours letting the animal feel comfortable with me. I believe their instincts guide them and they know if they are in danger. So I make sure I don’t cross that line”.

On ice and in the water, the Polar Bear is a force to be reckoned with.  He can run at a rate of 35 kilometers/hour.  In the water, his great forepaws act as large paddles and hind paws as rudders.  His claws are thick and curved, sharp and strong, each measuring more than two inches long.

I asked him how he became a wildlife photographer and why.

“I started really by accident, but this is something that makes sense to me on a very natural level.  My earliest recollection of holding a camera was in my grandfather’s home.  I used to play with the camera, peering through the glass underneath the flip top cover on the top of the camera. It was not until many years later on an underwater diving trip to Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean that I discovered this passion for photography. 

I borrowed a camera from the local dive shop where I dive mastered and the rest has been an adventure of learning and discovering something new every time I hold the lens to my eye”.

Since that time Todd’s path has crossed with a number of professional photographers many of whom have greatly influenced his photography and assisted in his development as a photographer.  Watching their commitment and drive coupled with hard work inspired him to work at developing his craft. 

“My first Polar Bear shoot was in 2010. I travelled to Pond Inlet, Nunavut, which is on the northern part of Baffin Island. The main reason for the trip was a feature story assignment for a dive magazine feature on the tusked Narwhal whale, but we ended up focusing on diving under an ice-locked iceberg.  It was there that I saw my first Polar bear in the wild”.

It was 3am, and we were on snowmobiles for hours in the middle of nowhere in the endless arctic summer light, climbing up ice compressions.  We spotted it.  The bear was heading toward a local Inuit families camp.  We set up at their camp, welcomed and he came. There we were, 50 meters away and standing with the bear on its terms.  I remember looking through the lens of my camera, thinking, this bear hunts for sustenance, and can close this distance in no time flat”. 

“Every bear is dangerous.  But there are things you can watch for.  When he puts his ears back, you know he is irritated and has elevated."

"In general I do not feel that I am in danger. I put my trust in my guide’s experience and listen what they say.  I never want to do something that puts them in harms way and risk the animal. This is a wild animal and we are on his turf, so of course, we have to be aware of what’s going on around us at all times. Last summer, for example, the bear was watching us.  The guide revved the snowmobile, and the bear didn’t leave.  So he jumped on his snowmobile to chase him away."

Todd’s photography hales from the cold northern Arctic to the deep seas of the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Indonesia, Micronesia and Ecuador.  His quest for Canadian photography has taken him to the oceans and mountains of British Columbia, the fields of Saskatchewan and to Churchill, Manitoba, one of the few human settlements where polar bears can be observed in the wild.

“When I get the shot it’s only because the animal has accepted me into their space on their terms. There is a connection between me and the animal.To be in that place, you have to be willing to put in the time to study the animal and how they interact with their environment. I read their eyes and feel their body language. I can hear them breathing. At the moment, we are one. We are in the same place. 

Coming face to face with a wild animal is really getting back to the most natural state of what it means to be alive. Every decision in the wild is life or death, fight or flight, survival or not, feast or famine.  So it is important to respect that this is their turf, not mine. I am merely a watcher and an observer. I should in no way affect their lives if I am being responsible and respectful. They can feel that. I believe that is why they accept me".

I would like to this take time to mention that I especially appreciate and credit my success to those around me, including fellow photographers, my family and friends.  Aquatica and Arctic Kingdom have been very supportive of my adventures. Without their assistance, encouragement and support I would not be able to commit the time and effort required to continually strive for new goals and achievements.  I hope that in my images I can inspire people to take an interest in wildlife and nature and discover the beauty that it holds."

Todd is a multi-award winning Canadian freelance photographer from Saskatchewan whose images have been recognized in numerous international photography competitions including the Smithsonian. Visit <>  for more information or follow Todd's adventures on Face book and Twitter.

By day, Todd is a Chartered Accountant and a partner in Mintz and Wallace Chartered Accountants LLP in Regina, Saskatchewan. On nights and weekends, when he is not coaching basketball and football, he can be found out in a remote field, belly down, camera to the eye, capturing an Snowy owl in mid hunt or a family of Moose resting in a cold snow filled field.