Documenting southwest Saskatchewan

Nathan Liewicki
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Gull Lake couple to film Southwest Stories

Craig and Layla Baird want to explore southwest Saskatchewan and they plan to document it.

Gull Lake's Craig and Layla Baird plan on filming a documentary about southwest Saskatchewan this coming spring and summer. Submitted photo

The couple moved from Alberta to Gull Lake, Sask., last April and has fallen in love with southwest Saskatchewan.

“We had the typical view of Saskatchewan — flat prairie, nothing here and just a way to get through to Manitoba,” Craig said from Gull Lake. “Then once we got here we discovered things like the Frenchman Valley, Cypress Hills and all the wonderful regional parks in the area.”

As their love and appreciation of the area has blossomed, so has the idea to promote the area.

Videographers and photographers, the Bairds will film a 60-plus minute documentary this coming spring and summer, in which they plan to highlight the history, culture and people of the area. It will be titled Southwest Stories. According to Craig there are a number of local centennial celebrations occurring in 2014, which they expect to include in the documentary.

“It’s been something we’ve been thinking about for quite some time and with spring and summer coming we really wanted to get out and really explore this area and document it,” Craig said.

They have a general idea of where they will go and whom they want to speak with, including local MLAs and MPs. However, Craig told the Times-Herald there would be some spontaneity involved in the places they visit and document.

“A lot of it will be we one weekend let’s go out to some random place and see what kind of footage we can get whether it’s a storm coming over the prairie, wildlife, or visit a farm that’s been sitting there for 100 years and just talk to the family,” he said.

He believes locals have unique perspectives and stories to tell about their localities, including how those areas have changed over the decades, which is one of the things Craig is hoping to tap into during filming.

Once all the filming and editing is done, and the final product is complete, the Bairds want to be able to promote southwest Saskatchewan on the world stage.

“We want everybody to have a chance to see it,” Craig said. “So while we’d like to have some DVDs made that we can have sold out of tourist booths, we mostly want to put it up on YouTube so that as many people as possible can see it.”

In order to carry out their project they want, the couple is hoping to raise some money to upgrade their equipment and offset some of the travel expenses they will accumulate while filming the documentary.

The goal is $6,000 and Craig said they are expecting a $2,000 donation very soon.

Filming will take them to a variety of well known, as well as generally obscure locations, but there is one place Craig wants to visit.

“I’m a history buff, so one thing I’m really looking forward to is the Tunnels of Moose Jaw,” said Craig. “I’d known about it for quite some time and we had some friends move from Ontario to here as well and they’re really interested in seeing it too.”

For more information on the documentary http://www.gofundme.com/63r1k0.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Gull Lake, Southwest Stories Alberta Manitoba Frenchman Valley Ontario

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