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Joni Mitchell to be honoured without her input Print-ready version

by Karin Yeske
July 24, 2013

A group interested in honouring Joni Mitchell will go ahead with its plan without her input.

Mitchell told Jeremy Warren of the StarPhoenix that Saskatoon doesn't grasp the idea of honour after numerous failed attempts to pay tribute to the internationally-renowned artist.

Lorne Calvert chaired an ad hoc group meeting last week where the group discussed ways Saskatoon could recognize Mitchell. Some of the ideas included naming a street or space after Mitchell. Others included non-traditional ideas such as associating her name with existing programs.

There has been pressure to move quickly on the issue because some of Mitchell's artifact collections could be moved to another city. Mitchell stated in the StarPhoenix article that she would like the items back.

Calvert tells News Talk Radio that despite what Mitchell said in the interview, the group plans to go forward with its plan to honour her in Saskatoon.

Callers on John Gormley Live weighed in on the issue, with an overwhelming share saying they believe Saskatoon should find a way to recognize Mitchell.

"Joni Mitchell is absolutely a feather in Saskatoon's cap," said one caller named Sam. "It's simple. It's where she comes from. Everybody likes to get recognition. I can understand that she's an artist and she has her quirks but that's what makes her music. That's who she is."

Fred agreed saying some sort of recognition is long overdue.

"My fear at this point is that if it is just a bunch of people going after her approval and participation, she may cast a bit of a jaundiced eye," he said.

Mike, a trucker driving to Timmons, Ont., made a comparison between Timmons and Saskatoon. Timmons has laid claim to the home of Shania Twain and is now a shrine for the Canadian country singer.

"I'm not saying that Saskatoon should go that far with Joni Mitchell. I do have a suggestion, perhaps something on the city limits, something to the effect of 'Saskatoon, where Joni Mitchell found her voice' or 'where Joni Mitchell found her talent,'" he said, adding the city should capitalize on the connection that Mitchell's career was born and thrived in Saskatoon.

A text in wrote that Saskatoon doesn't owe Mitchell anything because she "hasn't done anything for our community."

Ken from Kelvington texted News Talk Radio, "Gordie Howe was not born in Saskatoon and left to advance his career too. He has a statue and is not world known."

Some callers had suggestions on ways to honour Mitchell including naming the south bridge or street after her.

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