Canadian Living asked me
what is your favourite place in Canada.
Favorite place: Farm near Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan.
When asked “Where is your favorite place in Canada?”, I am torn. For starters, being a musician on the road a great deal of the time, the place I dream about is usually my own back yard in Montreal. As well, I have travelled the four corners of Canada on one tour or another and I have seen many slices of paradise. So, what a dilemma.
There are many places I love but there a few that hold a special place in my heart. One of these is the view out the back of Emile and Marguerite Campagne’s farm near Willow Bunch, Sask. It’s a high point right on the edge of a coolie. In the distance I can see the long stretch of cultivated fields. On a good day you might catch the sight of a small herd of antelope grazing on the prairie wool in the pasture. There is an enormous expanse of sky there, gravel roads instead of freeways, and the tallest building in view is the elevator in Assiniboia, 35 kilometres away. It has the familiar smell of sage and grass.
There is another reason that this place is special to me. This is my husband Paul’s family farm. These hills, fields and willows are the backdrop of all the stories that my children will hear over the dinner table. That coolie is where Marcel Klein, the Metis hired man, lived in a tent all summer and where Paul used to go out and roll his cigarettes. There is the hill where Emile accidentally left the car out of gear and had to chase it down and watch it hit the trees at the bottom. All those stories that my children will learn to tell. Stories that tie me and my family to this spot.
However, what I love the most is the way it makes me feel. I feel as if I have room enough to breathe.