A Prairie Homo Companion: 50 Things I’ll Miss if I Leave the Prairies

26. The ultimate sense of coziness you’d experience while wearing one of these perfect-for-prairie-winter snuggies:

via https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

via https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

27. Hard-core hockey fans

via maybeedmonton.tumblr.com okay, THIS IS TAKING IT TOO FAR.

via maybeedmonton.tumblr.com

28. The Edmonton – Calgary rivalry

29. Feeling triumphant when you make it to a gay bar when it’s 40 below

30. Summer days that go on forever

31. Sunshine at 10 p.m.

32. Feeling super-human as a little kid because it’s 10 p.m, sunny, and you’re not tired.

33. Queer hipster skateboarder girls in the summer

34. The sense of mystery in not knowing if a woman is the gay kind of butch, or the works in the oil industry or on a farm kind of butch.

via maybeedmonton.tumblr.com

via maybeedmonton.tumblr.com

35. The sense of accomplishment when you discover that she is, in fact, gay

36. The smell of dust on a gravel road

37. Thunderstorms. I love how clean I feel after having danced in the rain, when the air smells so fresh and the summer dust has been washed from my skin.

38. Dancing through canola fields

That's me on the far left. Canola fields are fun, but what no one ever tells you is they're also full of things that scratch and bite your legs!

That’s me on the far left. Canola fields are fun, but what no one ever tells you is they’re also full of things that scratch and bite your legs!

39. Cowboys. I know it’s a stereotype, but yes, they do exist. Every now and then I see a man in full cowboy-gear just walking around downtown going about his business. When I was a waitress, I once served an entire table full of cowboys. They tipped well.

40.  The last remaining grain elevators. Between the 1890s and the 1930s, almost 6,000 grain elevators were built across the Canadian prairies. My Opa worked in one when he first came to Alberta from Holland in the 1940s. Unfortunately, grain elevators weren’t the safest places – all that wood, grain dust, and flour led to many fires and explosions. Today, hardly any grain elevators remain, but some have been turned into museums.

photo credit: danwdotca

photo credit: danwdotca

41. Having a whole train car or bus to yourself

42. Road trips to the mountains

43. Ridiculous giant statues. Prairie cities love celebrating their cultural objects in a big way.

Vegreville Egg

Vegreville Egg

44. Hay bales against the sky

via matadornetwork.com

via matadornetwork.com

45. Picking berries in the summer: saskatoon berries, raspberries, choke cherries, cranberries

46. Vision. Your line of sight goes so far in the prairies, especially when you’re in the country, or in Saskatchewan. When there’s a thunderstorm and lightning lights up the whole sky, it looks like you can see the whole world and everything is bursting with electricity, energy, light.

47. Quilted fields

via Matador Network

via Matador Network

48. The fact that the Idle No More Movement, Universal Healthcare, and the Suffrage movement all started here

via National Post

via National Post

49. A newspaper article in which police officers spend six hours on snowmobiles trying to herd a cow and bull who’ve gotten loose in the city. There’s really nothing more Canadian-prairie than this article.

50. Waiting at the doctor’s office and finding an adorable picture of a young K.D Lang in Alberta Views Magazine.

A young, adorable K.D. Lang. Check out the socks.  via Alberta Views Magazine  July/August 2011

A young, adorable K.D. Lang. Check out the socks.
via Alberta Views Magazine
July/August 2011

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Malaika likes books, drinking tea, long conversations, dinner parties, making funny faces, bike rides, and dogs. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Montreal where she edits, runs, and writes about the Alberta Tar Sands for The Media Co-op. You can follow her on twitter @Malaika_Aleba.

Malaika has written 84 articles for us.


  1. So lovely – and all so true. I’ve travelled a lot, and many of those things make me feel incredibly home sick. I think, somehow, living here you subconsciously develop a connection to the landscape, to the air and sky without realizing it until you leave… Or at least that’s true for me.

  2. I love how many of these things are just about the sky! But I feel you on all of them. Especially the stars — I live on an acreage, and the sky on a clear night is shocking and beautiful every single time. I will never get tired of it.

  3. Why do we not have snow graffiti in New England?!?! Surely someone must have thought of it down here, but I’ve never seen it around, and now I know what’s missing from my life. This article really made me want to go to Canada.

  4. LOVE THIS!!!! The prairie snuggies on page 2 made me laugh OUT LOUD! A what a great picture of kd lang — I remember when she actually looked like this. It brings to mind Stompin’ Tom Connors’ song about her – Lady kd Lang.

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