Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Must Admit

The 100 Block of Central Avenue North, Downtown Swift Current, taken November 2006

I watched CBC Radio One last night.

No, really, I did watch it. My digital TV service has almost 40 Saskatchewan radio stations (all of them in the nine biggest cities), so my TV also acts as a powerful, province-wide radio.

I haven't willingly listened to Radio One in about 6 years, when I was actually on it. But a few days ago, I got word of a show called Ideas, which is a nightly radio documentary series. On the show last night was Highway Number One, which was about, you guessed it, the city of Swift Current, and its relationship with the major Trans-Canada Highway that runs through it. It was produced and presented by local film-maker, Simon Nakonechny.

Without spoiling it, when the Trans-Canada first opened, it ran through the downtown area (where Chaplin Street is). At that time, the City Centre was a vibrant, bustling business community. Later, the highway was moved to the northern edge of the city to act as a bypass. The vibrant, bustling business community moved with it. Hotels opened on the accessible highway, while they closed downtown. Same for the department stores, restaurants and gas stations. All that is left in the heart of the city are some of the more popular established businesses, office buildings and smaller businesses. It also mentioned the future tourism/business plans (the new casino, the new hospital, the new museum, etc.) would be located as close to the highway as possible.

The documentary was well-researched, well-presented, had some things even I didn't know about my own city, and it made me think. Kudos to Simon and everybody else who put it together.

I also just bought the CD copy of the episode from CBCShop.

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