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Group wants to see Joni Mitchell honoured in Saskatoon Print-ready version

July 18, 2013

Joni Mitchell, right, plays a guitar presented to her by guitar makers Robin, left, and Claude Boucher at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in Toronto, Jan. 28, 2007. Photo © (CP / Aaron Harris)

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Always having considered Saskatoon home, Joni Mitchell entrusted a small collection of personal artifacts to friends of hers in the city. However, the folk-legend has recently indicated she could pull the plug on the collection if it isn't put on display. The notion has sparked a local group to come together to help save a part of Saskatoon's musical history.

Helping lead the group is previous Saskatchewan premier, Lorne Calvert. He said the collection needs to stay in Saskatoon to help recognize Mitchell's creative connection to the city. "Her roots are very deep here and I think many of us think it's the right thing to do," he said.

The group is hoping to find a way to pay tribute to the songstress without the usual four walls needed for a museum. "We're not really talking about a centre or a facility with walls. It's kind of a without-walls recognition of Joni Mitchell," Calvert said.

"Now we have the question of her collection that's housed here in Saskatoon. We hope that again working with Ms. Mitchell we can find an appropriate home."

Saskatoon's influence can been seen in Mitchell's art and in her songs. Cherokee Louise, for example, is about a girl living under the Broadway Bridge.

The group advocating for Mitchell believes that since Saskatoon inspired her, something in the city to pay tribute back to the artists is the next step.

Mitchell is aware of the efforts being made in her honour here, and she'll be meeting with the group again in September to discuss their ideas.

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