Spend a day in Moose Jaw, meet a Capone

Spot Al Capone in Moose Jaw
Photo: Thomas Bartlett
Deirdre Capone, grandniece of Al Capone, will be in Moose Jaw on August 27 giving a talk about her memories about her Uncle Al at the Mae Wilson Theatre at 7 p.m.

For those of you coming in from outside of Moose Jaw to hear her talk, here are some of Finding Al producer Kelly-Anne Riess' top 10 things to do while in town, if you're thinking of making a day trip.

1. Check out the Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre - Cute little owls that live in gopher holes on 250 Thatcher Drive East. The Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre is dedicated to species at risk conservation.  Come meet some critters and learn more about prairie conservation.

2. Take the Moose Jaw Trolley - This tour covers all aspects of the city – must see attractions, heritage buildings and residential properties and a sampling of the city’s 40 plus murals. Purchased in 1999, the Moose Jaw Trolley quickly became a fav orite attraction. The 34 seat trolley is a replica 1911 electric streetcar, which today operates on propane. Daytime tours leave from the Visitor Centre on Thatcher Drive (beside Mac The Moose).  The trolley departs daily at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

3. The Temple Gardens Mineral Spa - Enjoy the geo-thermal waters of the interconnected indoor and outdoor pools. It's worth it. 

Photo: Thomas Bartlett
4. Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery - An impressive museum where history and art meet. (In the same building as their library at 461 Langdon Crescent). While there, visit the neighbouring Crescent Park. Take a stroll along the creek and watch for swans and mallards. Need more fresh air, go to the Wakamow Valley and check out the Moose Jaw River.

5. Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village & Museum - Ever hear that story about that Saskatchewan  guy who built a ship in Saskatchewan so he could sail home to Europe. He was committed before he could make the journey, but the ship can be seen at the Sukanen Museum, which started as an automobile club in 1961 and soon grew to include authentic pioneer buildings, that includes the Diefenbaker homestead and a full-size grain elevator. Don't forget to check out their historical hazmat suit collection, which is spectacular. It's located 13 kilometres south of Moose Jaw on Highway #2.

5. Western Development Museum - Planes, trains, cars, boats and 100 years of Saskatchewan on 50 Diefenbaker Drive.

6. Eat at DK Sushi on 224 Main St. N. It's the best sushi you will ever have. You will often find the "Finding Al" crew there. 

7. Don't like sushi, try the Mad Greek on 925 Main St N. Try the Greek fries.

8. Just want a cup of coffee, Coffee Encounters (203 Main St N) and Java Express (23 Main St. N) are both great.

9. Visit Post Horizon Booksellers - Looking for a rare book or something fun to read on the drive home. This used bookstore, on 57 High Street West, is amazing. The owner and bibliophile Nelson Reid, specializes in rare books. He remembers the very first sale: a biography of John Wayne, sold to a collector. Since then, collectors have taken home many other treasures: one of three known copies of a Canadian cookbook from the late 1800s, the first printing of a journal of exploration by a contemporary of Lewis and Clark, the exhaustive catalogue of Canadian Pacific Steam Locomotives that went to Finland, and the early Oz editions that went home to Kansas.

Mac the Moose
Photo: Thomas Bartlett
10. The Tunnels of Moose Jaw - An award winning attraction, on 18 Main St N, that blends history and entertainment in our presentation of two diverse periods in Canadian history. You will be taken on a journey by their guides and become part of that history. In the Chicago Connection Tour, you're bootleggers in 1929. You come to Moose Jaw to buy booze from the Capone organization. You've got to learn the ropes and stay out of the way of the local police chief. You start out at Miss Fanny's club and end up in a tunnel, somewhere underground. And the only one who knows the way out is Gus, one of Capone's goons. The Passage to Fortune tells the story of early Chinese immigrants to Canada. You become an immigrant and follow in their footsteps through Burrows and Sons Laundry, in darkened tunnels under the streets and in the kitchen of Mr. Wong's cafe. Your passage to fortune is just around the corner. 

Deirdre Capone to visit Moose Jaw

Deirdre Capone, grandniece to Al Capone, will be coming to Moose Jaw in August to be interviewed for Finding Al.
Deirdre Capone
In talking to her briefly over the phone, the Finding Al crew has learnt her uncle used to call the Canadian prairie God's country because of the big open skies, among other stories.

While in Moose Jaw, Ms.Capone will be giving a public talk at the Mae Wilson Theatre Moose Jaw Cultural Centre on Tuesday, August 27 at 7 p.m.

She will be sharing family stories about her great uncle Al Capone and showing pictures from the family album.

Ms. Capone's grandfather was Ralph Capone, listed in 1930 as Public Enemy #3 by the Chicago Crime Commission. This makes Deirdre the grandniece of Public Enemy #1, Al Capone.

One of the stories in Ms. Capone's memoir, Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family, is about how her grandmother Theresa used to bake cookies for Al and his gang, who absolutely loved Theresa's baking. In the back of Ms. Capone's book is a recipe for these "Mob Cookies." 

For much of Ms. Capone's life, she did not readily volunteer she was a Capone. She made every effort to hide her family history, leaving Chicago in 1972. It wasn't until she had grandchildren that she decided to share her family story and write a book about her experiences. 

After Ms. Capone's talk, audience members will have the chance to meet meet Ms. Capone and have her sign a copy of her memoir: Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family.

"A lot of people think Al Capone was a psychopath. A lot of people think Robert DeNiro captured the true nature of America's most notorious gangster. A lot of people seem hell bent on clinging to a bunch of mythology that plain and simple makes no sense," said Jonathan Eig, author of Get Capone. "Deirdre Marie Capone is not one of them. With this lovely, personal, heartfelt story, she takes a stand. She's not nominating Capone for sainthood. She's not asking you to pardon him his crimes. She's simply and honestly telling the story she knows best--the story of her family."

Following Ms. Capone's talk, people can see a sneak preview of  the Finding Al - A Documentary.

Tickets are $20 at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre box office only. 

Proceeds go towards supporting Ms. Capone's visit to Moose Jaw and the Mae Wilson Theatre's regular programming. 

Attending this event is a great way to support Saskatchewan film and artistic programming in Moose Jaw.

This event is general seating.