Saskatonians is where we feature and recognize people within the community of Saskatoon, showcasing the great things that they do, what they like and how they make Saskatoon great!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Saskatoon?
Shad is originally from Trinidad, which you can probably tell every time he breaks into his Caribbean accent, Kim is Saskatchewan born and bred, from a small community called Holdfast. We have lived in Saskatoon a long time, this time around, its been 13 years since we moved back home from a short stint in Ontario.
What is your favourite restaurant in Saskatoon?
Oh my how does one choose. I mean whether its Drift, Odd Couple, Una Pizza, Chianti’s, Saigon Rose, Scarlett, Oriental Aroma or Tarverna, and there is always the Saskatoon Farmers Market, its hard to choose one.
What is your favourite activity in Saskatoon?
Well we enjoy Saskatoon’s many festivals and events like the fireworks festival, Wintershines, the Sask Marathon, Habitat’s Gala and Big Brothers and Big Sisters Ignite the Night or the Huskie Women’s Basketball Brunch. We really enjoy trips to Saskatoon Farmers Market or a day spent along Valley Road. But I would have to say many of our favorite activities include Meewasin, whether its walking the trail, canoeing the river, or just sitting on the river bank. I mean we love Beaver Creek, Fred Heal Canoe Launch, Cranberry Flats, River Landing, Victoria Park, all of these great amenities. So we would have to say its enjoying the Meewasin Valley, we are very grateful for the work of the MVA for sure.
If you could change one thing about Saskatoon, what would it be?
We love this city and everything about it. We are a very welcoming community, and as we grow, addressing the challenges of growth will strengthen us for sure. Whether its reconciliation, inclusion, sustainability, policing, economic prosperity, food security, housing, or even our roads and back alleys, this city is doing a great job on tackling these issues. If there was one thing it would perhaps be our apologetic attitude, although even that speaks to our humility which we believe is also endearing.
What’s the best thing about living in Saskatoon?
The people and the place! You know the six degrees thing, we say its six degrees of separation everywhere but in Saskatoon its probably two. Its like that Cheers theme song, Where everybody knows your name. Even as our city grows, it is still small enough that you feel comfortable, known and familiar, but large enough to provide the degree of anonymity you might enjoy.
Where do you work and what do you do?
Together we run two companies: On Purpose Events and On Purpose Leadership. We feel quite fortunate and privileged really as through our work we have been able to work with some amazing people and organizations. We get to deliver Bike Safety education to students; organize one of Canada’s top Marathon and race events. I mean we get to work on events and festivals that bring people and families together and build community as well as champion inclusion, accessibility and all that is great about our community. We have been able to work with and profile many great Artists over the years and promote Saskatoon’s and Saskatchewan’s tremendous Cultural, Tourism, Agricultural, Science and Economic assets. We have done some amazing work with our First Nations communities and particularly with Whitecap Dakota First Nation. On the organization development and training side we have been able to work with fantastic clients across this great country, helping them better understand their organization culture and design ways to achieve superlative results through enhanced performance of their people. On the community development and capacity building side, its our work to help charities and not-for-profits, who we call Social Impact Agencies get better at their planning and effectiveness, their management and fundraising skills or their governance, strategic and operational excellence. And that includes work with the Association of Fundraising Professionals here locally, nationally and internationally. One thing on this front that we are proud of is our work on a national study called What Canadian Donors Want. And we have been doing some great work on better understanding human behaviour, performance and teamwork as well as Entrepreneurial and Business Growth. So work we have done with companies like Rebellion Brewing, MiEnergy and Preston Early Learning Centre for instance is very interesting, not to mention stuff we have had the privilege to work on with City of Regina, City of Saskatoon, Great West Life and several others.
What other interesting jobs have you had?
Well Kim worked for ten years with Tennis Canada, including work on their new tennis centre, that role put her in touch with Canada’s elite like Daniel Nestor and Grant Connell but also some of the world’s top tennis players like Andre Aggassi, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and so on. She also worked for SaskSport and Royal Life Saving Society for several years. Shad, has had the honour to work with several of Canada’s leading National charities, as well as places like the Downtown Winnipeg Association (Working on their Downtown development plans) and for a leading marketing communications agency called Eclipse 3. One interesting thing is that at one time they won the Manitoba Premier’s Award of Excellence for a project done for the Government of Saskatchewan, a few things changed after that as you can imagine. A few cool things is that Shad and Kim have been bestowed with Tourism Saskatoon Leadership Awards and the PotashCorp Fireworks Festival won the Gil Carduner Marketing Award through Tourism Saskatchewan, as well On Purpose Leadership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters has received the Strategic Alliance Award at SABEX from the Saskatoon Community Foundation, and so while awards and accolades are not the reason we do what we do it is nice to get that public recognition for great work particularly as much of it is collaborative. 8. If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why? Well Kim just had a great experience walking the Camino de Santiago trail and sounds like she might like to go back. It was a great personal change for her on many fronts. We both really enjoyed Cambodia and Rome and might like to spend more time there. For Shad based on a recent visit and work on the international front though it might have to be Geneva. That place was simply spectacular, the people, the place, the lake, the languages, and cultures, and the amazing global scale work being done, he would like to take what we have done, learned and developed and put it to work on a global scale now. Of course there is nothing like your own back yard.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Hhhmmm, for Kim it might be the first week she was in Toronto after having moved there for an assignment and she went on the subway forgetting she had a couple curlers in her hair, fortunately a kind soul noticed and mentioned it to her. For Shad, It would likely be slipping on the icy ground and taking a very hard fall opening day of WinterShines just before going to speak at the Opening Ceremonies, it was in front of a large group of people who he had just been asking to watch their step, it was almost cartoon like the way it happened.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
Kim has a real passion for all things interior design, and gardening, so putting the two together and she is just in heaven. Shad has competed in several sports including Cricket, Volleyball, Squash and Racquetball.
If you could have only one meal the rest of your life what would it be?
For Shad it would be Mangos, it reminds him of the four great people who have influenced his life the most, three of them women (my wife, my sister and my mother, the fourth was an elementary school teacher named Abby). For Kim it would maybe be Strawberries or perhaps a fresh tomato sandwich.
What type of music do you listen to?
You know our play lists are pretty eclectic. There are a number of Saskatchewan Artists whom we enjoy (Rah Rah, Samara Yung, Codie Prevost, Steven Maguire, Wyatt, Andy Shauf, Jeffery Straker, Joni Mitchell gosh that list is pretty long actually) and then its everything from Chuck Mangione, James Taylor, Ottma Leibert; Miriam Makeba, Norah Jones, Santana, Sergio Mendes, Simon & Garfunkel, Sia, Lorde, Peter Frampton, Chalkdust (Calypso), Bocelli, Pitbull, Sheeran, Adele, Shawn Mendes oh man that list just goes on. On the whole preference is probably towards easy listening (Jazz, Blues, Contemporary).
Who is your hero?
Man you are asking tough questions. Shad says: Mohandas K. Gandhi or Ahmad Muhammad Mustaffa. Kim says: I admire people who display complete selflessness –Mother Teresa if I had pick an example but there are lots of people who do this in their everyday lives.
What is your favourite thing to spend money on?
Shad food and family; Kim its plants and garden stuff. And of course there are our favorite causes.
If you could retire tomorrow what would you do?
Well for Shad its really to work with organizations in different countries on interesting capacity and community building projects. For Kim, give me a good space in which to garden and do interesting architectural things with.
What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
Kim: Goat’s brains. Shad: Tripe, yuck!
What’s the worst thing you ever did as a kid?
For shad: I lied to my Mom once about how much it cost to buy something she sent me to get, cause I was trying to keep some money to buy something silly. Man she saw right through it. For Kim: Being the oldest of 8, I squeezed my younger sibs to do my chores, in exchange for perceived favours- let them play on my baseball team, let them act in my plays and participate in my parades. I needed them to be part of these anyway for what’s a ball team without players, a play without actors, or a parade without floats.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Shad: if we are talking popularity or beautiful people type stuff then it would be Jennifer Aniston, but really it would be people like Dr Wayne Dyer (recently deceased) and Eckhart Tolle, I would give anything for a day with them. Kim: None other than George Clooney!
Your biggest pet peeve is what?
Shad: People who tear down others and aren’t willing to step up themselves. Kim: Zipper merge, Saskatoonians! Please learn to zipper-merge!
Name someone that you think deserves some recognition.
You know we get to work with so many great and talented people in our community, that this is a tricky one as all of them are worthy and deserving of praise and recognition. There are two ladies we have had the privilege to work with over the past few years who volunteer their time and expertise willingly and do a consistently amazing job and who might not otherwise get recognized for their contributions. So we will name them, Kim Newlove (PELC and Warm the Heart Soup Cook off to name two) and Christine Ruys (Folkfest and Ignite The Night to name two). We have watched these two amazing women give freely and unselfishly of themselves. Their time, resources and talents, and let us tell you they are brilliant, talented, generous and insightful, courageous and humble, so right now this is likely embarrassing the heck out of both of them. We think our community should raise a glass and toast them for all they have done and continue to do.