REGINA – The woman viewed by many as Saskatchewan's most famous musician will be attending the big-budget Centennial gala in Saskatoon next month.
But singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell – who was born in Alberta but grew up in Saskatoon – is not expected to perform.
Lieutenant-Governor Lynda Haverstock said it took hours of personal phone conversations to get Mitchell to simply attend.
"What I did was to make the case that this event is not about any one individual, that this event is about the people of Saskatchewan, people like her parents," Haverstock said.
"When it became not about her, she was very interested in being here."
Mitchell, once best known for hit songs like Big Yellow Taxi, has essentially retired from performing and in recent years has focused her creative energies on her paintings. She's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received the Order of Canada.
Haverstock also announced that Saskatchewan comedian Brent Butt will emcee the gala and CBC Television will broadcast the event across its network.
The arena show has a budget of $2.5 million.
The CBC broadcast will be live to Eastern Canada and tape-delayed for viewers in Saskatchewan. It will air locally at 8 p.m. central time.
About half of the tickets to the May 19 show have been sold.