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Saskatoon pays tribute to Joni Mitchell’s legacy Print-ready version

by Rebekah Lesko
Global News
June 10, 2018

Saskatoon honoured legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell on Sunday afternoon with two permanent installations.

"It's time to recognize her," said Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark.

Mitchell and her family moved to Saskatoon when she was nine years old, a place she calls her hometown.

The tribute started at the Broadway Theatre with a plaque unveiling near the former location of the Louis Riel Coffee House. The Broadway Avenue café was where Mitchell played her first paid gig.

People were invited to walk from the theatre, down the Broadway Bridge to River Landing, a route Mitchell often walked in her youth.

Following a ceremony inside the Persephone Theatre, the Joni Mitchell Promenade naming and plaque unveiling took place.

"It's been so long coming. We've talked so long at various different times about what might happen and what might be important, but the city absolutely hit it on the perfect thing for her," said Sharolyn Dickson, Mitchell's friend from childhood.

"This was just so important to her, so meaningful along [the river]. She was just absolutely thrilled, and she still is. I talked to her this morning actually," said Dickson.

For Mitchell, the river was always a magnet, according to Dickson, as she shared memories of the two of them watching the ice break up and leaning back to watch clouds.

Mitchell was unable to travel for the ceremony, but was said to be watching a live stream of the event.

"She spent a lot of time along the banks of this river, with friends, exploring and growing up here," said Clark.

The city said Mitchell gave input and approval throughout the process.

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