Who Are We?

Who Are We? A Dedicated Bunch

Prairie Spruce Commons is composed of a group of people dedicated to creating homes with a unique sense of community. As a multigenerational group, our current membership of 26 consists of students, retirees, and professionals (along with 3 cats, 3 dogs, and 1 goldfish).

Diverse Interests

As you will discover by reading our member profiles below, we come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. As with any group, we have members who have travelled extensively, are involved in the community, and participate in volunteer activities.

Perhaps most importantly, our group looks forward to benefitting from each others’ knowledge and experiences. Our collective interests vary greatly from sewing to wine making, hunting to carpentry, computers to cooking, music to sailing, and golfing to pet ownership.

We also value the ability to live independently within our own homes while fostering and contributing to the community we are building.

My interests are environmental issues, being outside & going for walks. I especially enjoy being out in the country in the fall, cross country skiing in the winter and maintaining some level of fitness through working out. Conan’s interests are food, food, walks and being with people!! Conan and I are both looking forward to moving into Prairie Spruce Commons. – Murray and Conan (the beagle)

Meet The Community – Member Profiles 

Lois

I recently retired from an Administrative position and am enjoying the transition into retirement.  I have a mischievous beagle that I co-parent with my brother, who will be living at Prairie Spruce in another unit.  Conan will be nearly 13 years old when we move into Prairie Spruce.  Some beagles can bark a lot, or even howl.  This is not the case for Conan.  Conan did not learn how to howl and sometimes barks when someone knocks on the door.  If I know someone is coming and put him into his kennel before they knock on the door, he does not bark.  He is a good dog that gets lots of attention! He is quite gentle around small children too.

It is always a good day when I play cards (especially Bridge), and enjoy most physical activities including cross country skiing, snow shoeing, gardening, walking, hiking, sailing, and travel.  Past times include home decorating and furniture refinishing, board games, reading, and cooking. I have had opportunity to do quite a bit of travelling.  Holidays are usually quite active with lots of walking, hiking, or bicycling to see the local area.  After I retire, I look forward to taking a few more trips. 

I have an interest in the environment and leaving a smaller footprint.  I continue working at it, making incremental improvements and changes towards living more sustainably. I enjoy cooking and sharing meals together with family and friends. As other Prairie Spruce members have expressed this as a similar interest, I expect some of the bigger jobs to become much more fun when shared.  I look forward to participating in “work bees” when making cabbage rolls, perogies, and pasta to name a few, as well as sharing healthy, tasty meals with Prairie Spruce friends.

Brenda, Rebekah and Ruth

We call ourselves the Rae Street Girls! We have lived on Rae Street in Regina for over 20 years. Now we are ready to commit to building Prairie Spruce Commons and wonder if we will be known as the Badham Girls?

We have lived on Rae Street in Regina for over 20 years. Now we are ready to commit to building Prairie Spruce Commons and wonder if we will be known as the Badham Girls?

As young feminists, we would, on principle, never have called ourselves Girls. Brenda and Ruth now in our 60’s and Rebekah at 23, still consider themselves feminists, but as poet Mary Oliver says …. no longer young and still not half-perfect.

Rebekah Hope, who is a farm girl and a city girl, is a Student Researcher at the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre at the University of Regina. This is one of the programs of The Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished! Inc. a community-based organization that Brenda, Ruth and Rebekah have helped to create. We give our lives to the vision of working and playing in inclusive community to create social inclusion of all kinds including with and for young adults with complex physical disAbilities.

Brenda and Ruth are part of a loose tribe of women across North America who sing love songs to life and Earth. We call ourselves Singers of the Sacred Web. We each have Masters degrees in Theology and had first careers as clergy. Brenda, who loves a big challenge, has a more recent Masters degree from Royal Roads in Environmental Education and Communication.

We are also stewards and companions of a remnant of native prairie grasses in the Qu’Appelle valley on a 160-acre patch of land known as Grandmothers Hills.

Family, home, community and living a lighter footprint are all essential to us. Being and becoming cohousers excites us and suits us!

JoAnne

My greatest joys are my two grown daughters, their partners and all my extended family. I believe in contributing to my community and have volunteered in a variety of ways through my children’s activities, church, or hosting city events like the 2013 Grey Cup festival. I enjoy being in nature by walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, golfing, and boating. My love of all things in nature leads me to look for natural ways to stay healthy and happy. My life started in rural Saskatchewan and most of it has been lived in Regina. I am interested in sports and a proud member of Roughrider Nation. Currently I am in a project management career in information technology and a director of a local/western Canada consulting firm.

Suzanne

I have been excited about the prospect of living in cohousing since I first heard of the concept during a CBC interview with Sheila Coles back in 2012. I’ve always been conscious of my ecological footprint and I was instantly attracted to the project because of its intention to include sustainable features. The concept of intentional community was new to me but after a few months of gathering for meetings, potlucks and workshops I came to appreciate this aspect of cohousing and see it as an added bonus to my desire to live more sustainably.

Over the years I have worked at various jobs and currently work as a recreation therapist in a long term care setting. My favourite job was being a stay at home mum. I am the proud mother of four adult children. Laura and her husband John live in rural Ontario; Heather and her fiancé Daniel live in Val Marie, Saskatchewan; Kim lives in Toronto; and my son Matthew and his wife Catherine live in Regina.

As a girl of eleven, I immigrated to Regina from England and initially found the openness of the prairie landscape disconcerting but over time I have grown to love this “land of living skies.” I enjoy travelling and seeing new places but always look forward to returning to this prairie city. I am excited at the prospect of moving into this amazingly designed building called Prairie Spruce Commons, Regina’s first cohousing project! Moving in with me will be my ten-year-old, black, mixed breed dog, Abbey and my one-year-old black farm cat, Gzowski.

For fun, I enjoy walking my dog, cycling, gardening and camping… just about anything that connects me with nature and the outdoors. When the busyness associated with getting cohousing off the ground is complete I hope to take up some creative endeavours and return to more actively supporting social justice initiatives.

Warren

I heard about cohousing from my sister-in-law Suzanne two years ago and asked if I could come to a meeting with her. I really didn’t have a clue what it entailed until I attended my first meeting in May of 2012 and found out that everyone there wanted to build a sharing, caring, sustainable community in the city. I was in.

I was born in Regina and have lived here ever since. I am a carpenter by trade and have also taken a few years of university classes (no degree). I have been a member of the Carpenters Union since 1976 and have been on the executive board in some capacity for the last 30 years. I am currently working as an instructor for the Prairie Arctic Trades Training Centre in Regina and also instruct classes for the Union.

I enjoy walking, hiking, camping, cycling, canoeing (it’s been a while but living so close Wascana), card games (bridge), board games and watching movies. I plan on working for a while yet but after I want to do some travelling and I will use my skills to help build the community at Prairie Spruce Commons. I am looking forward to using our shop to build projects with and for the community.

I can’t believe it has been three years since my first meeting with PSC but plans and ideas have finally resulted in a location and an environmentally sustainable designed building that I want to move into today!

Murray

My sister introduced to me to cohousing after she had joined the group that was working to bring cohousing to Regina. She brought me into the group because, as she said, “I knew it was you.” Cohousing is about creating community. It also is a more sustainable way to live.

I moved off the farm and into Regina in 2000. Some of my interests include cross country skiing, exercise in general and staying fit, hunting, walking, hiking and enjoying nature, cooking and trying new recipes, co-parenting a beagle, and socializing with friends and family. Currently, I am not sure if I am retired or just between jobs.

I have learned lots and look forward to learning more about cohousing.

Dave, Lill and Family

Dave and Lill, married over thirty years, are long-time members of the Prairie Spruce cohousing community. They have four adult children: Roger, Joel, Owen and Elise, all in their twenties. All family members regularly and frequently engage in various volunteer activities and happily share their time and talents in their neighbourhood, school, and faith-based communities.

As a couple, Lill and Dave enjoy travelling and spending leisure time at the lake. They also enjoy all types of music and love to dance. Lill has a large extended family so socializing in large groups just comes naturally. She is genuinely interested in people and has a knack for remembering people’s names and faces. Lill works in a local community-based organization as the office administrator and bookkeeper. Dave has a knack for storytelling and has a bit of a creative side. He recently retired from a thirty-five-year career in information technology and continues to indulge his passion for life-long learning.

Dave and Lill’s son Roger also has a gift for remembering people’s names and faces. He likes working with his hands and enjoys group settings for both work and play. He is enrolled at the University of Regina in the “Campus For All” program. Roger also works part-time in the woodworking shop at the Abilities Council and at “Seedmaster”, a farm implement manufacturer. Roger is looking forward to living in Prairie Spruce Commons and enjoying the music and media room.

Joel is enrolled at the University of Regina in the Music Education program. He plays trombone in the Regina Symphony Orchestra as well as the “Pile Of Bones” brass band. He also sings in several choirs. Elise is enrolled at the University of Regina in the Nursing program. She studied dance at the “Saskatchewan Express” Musical Theatre Studio and is an occasional dance instructor. She also sings in several choirs. Depending on where their careers eventually take them both Joel and Elise plan to move into Prairie Spruce Commons. Their brother Owen is completing his Electronic Systems Engineering degree at the University of Regina. He enjoys playing percussion with the Saskatchewan Roughrider drum line. Owen expects his career will take him out of province but he knows he will be welcome to stay in one of the Prairie Spruce guest rooms on return visits to Regina.

Faye

I was raised on a farm in the Saskatoon area, then moved with my family to Saskatoon. I attended the University of Saskatchewan. I have worked for non-profit organizations almost my whole career, with visually impaired people, people with HIV and those at risk, families of young children with special needs and vulnerable young parents with young children.

I currently work at a Youth Centre where my training as a life skills coach gives me opportunities to engage and support young parents. I love working with parent groups and being able to provide a safe space for them to learn parenting skills and to grow in self-esteem and confidence.

I am the proud mother of a daughter, Suzanne and two amazing grandchildren, Savannah who is eleven and Daelen who is five.

In my spare time, I love being connected to nature and am an avid bird watcher. I enjoy dancing, singing, writing. reading, healthy eating, meditation and learning in general.

I am excited about moving to Prairie Spruce with my partner, Jean, who hails from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Jean and I enjoy walking being in nature, doing drumfit and other fitness activities, trying out new recipes, watching movies doing jigsaw puzzles playing board games and hanging out with grandkids. We are enthusiastic about attending Regina Folk Festival, concerts, musicals, and other events around the city as well as going dancing.

Cohousing aligns so well with my values and I am excited at the prospect of moving into Prairie Spruce Commons. I have always wanted to live in community and to live as sustainably and as lightly on the earth as possible. As well, I appreciate the process of collaborative decision-making and am looking forward to the sharing of work and resources.

Jean

I have lived all my life in Ingonish Centre, Cape Breton Nova Scotia. I come from a family of eleven, nine girls and two boys. I am the proud mother of three boys. Michael is in the army and lives with his wife, Kyla and my oldest grandson, Riley, age six. Colin lives with his wife, Kayla and my youngest grandson, Austin who is over a year old. My youngest son, Allan, passed away at five years old twenty-two years ago.

I’m a jack of all trades. I have worked at a resort in various capacities such as cooking, doing laundry, cleaning rooms, bell hopping and gardening. I also ran a hardware store as well as building houses, painting and house repairs and maintenance.

I love to cook and try out new recipes. I really appreciate being in the outdoors, walking, hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, swimming and taking in the birds and animals. I enjoy board games, card games and bingo. I have been a member of the Ingonish Volunteer Fire Department fundraisers. We have put on meals, concerts, dances for kids and other seasonal events.

I am interested in cohousing because of the involvement of my partner, Faye. I also like the idea of us all sharing the workload and pitching in together in whatever work we need to do. I especially look forward to working in the garden at Prairie Spruce Commons.

Henning, Joanne & Erik

We are a family that traces roots back to Yorkton and to Denmark. An adventurous family, we have engaged in activities such as flying sailplanes, scuba diving, and sailing Americas great loop. We are interested in woodworking, photography, board games, and, for Erik, video games. Henning is a computer consultant and Joanne is a teacher.

We look forward to moving into Prairie Spruce and seeing how the community grows and unfolds as the years pass. We look forward to many celebrations and to shared happiness and sorrow. Henning is excited by the power of community and looks forward to setting up community internet and phone systems and organizing home concerts. We also look forward to maintaining a closer relationship with Knud and Eva, Henning’s parents who are also becoming a part of Prairie Spruce.

Eva & Knud

Eva and Knud were both born and raised in Denmark. Eva, the oldest of four children, grew up in the city (Odense and Copenhagen). Eva has a nursing degree from Denmark, and in 1984 she took a refresher course as a registered nurse in Saskatchewan. She worked in nursing homes in Regina until 1994. Eva enjoys being with elderly people.

Knud, the second oldest of five children, left for Canada in 1957, and spent four years in Alberta, He returned to Denmark, where he received a bachelors degree in Agriculture and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen.

We came to Canada in 1974 with our two boys, Henning and Thomas. Knud has worked with Agriculture Canada, Research Stations in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina, Knud retired from Agriculture Canada in 1999. We lived in Regina from 1978 to 1985, when we bought a farm half way between Balgonie and Edenwold. We are still living here and farming a quarter section.

We are actively involved in the Lutheran Church and community events in Balgonie and Edenwold. During the summer we are busy keeping up a big garden, which is Eva’s pride and where she spends most of her time weeding and cutting grass. Knud, aside from helping in the garden, enjoys farming. He has had as much as seven crops on a quarter section in one season, and has walked nearly every square meter on this quarter.

Marc

With the exception of the year that Marc turned eight, he has lived in Regina all his life. That year – an education leave for his father – Marc and his family lived in Halifax.

Marc, who is the older of two children, lives with his parents, Ann and André. His sister, Michelle, also lives in Regina. Marc attended several schools as a child: the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre School, Davin Elementary School, Sir Charles Tupper Elementary School in Halifax, Holy Rosary Community School, and Miller Comprehensive High School. In spite of a lifelong battle with mathematics, Marc successfully obtained his high school diploma.

Marc is a frequent audit student at the University of Regina, and has also taken part in the Campus for All program. Some of his favourite classes have been an Introduction to Film, Narrative in Film, Introductory Music, and Jazz Appreciation; however, he has also dabbled in Psychology, Philosophy, Political Science, and more.

Volunteering has always been part of Marc’s life. After finishing high school, he volunteered in the production studios and mobiles at Access Communications for several years. He was also a volunteer porter at Wascana Rehab. Throughout this, he has been a regular course marshall for the Queen City Marathon, the Regina Police Service Half Marathon, and the Jingle Bell Run. In the summer, he is a parking and traffic volunteer for the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony under the Skies.

Marc has a passionate interest in film. In addition to seeing almost every film released, he has taken classes in Set Safety, Set Protocol, and Flagging. He was an extra on The Englishman’s Boy, Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, and The Edge of War.

Marc loves to travel and has visited every province of Canada (but not the Territories – yet). He also participates in a Next Chapter Book Club, and yoga classes, and really appreciates the sauna and hot tub through his membership at the YMCA.

The First Cohousing Community in Regina, Saskatchewan

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