Regina salon reopens with fundraiser for firefighters who saved its building

Regina's Miyosiwin Salon Spa was badly damaged by a fire that destroyed neighbouring restaurant Lang's Cafe in April 2018.

Miyosiwin Salon Spa reopens exactly one year after fire nearly destroyed its building

Grand Re-opening of the Miyosiwin Salon Spa was held today. One year to the day that a fire gutted neighbouring building and restaurant Lang's Cafe, left Miyosiwin Salon Spa with extensive smoke and water damage. (Matt Howard CBC)

Today marks one year since Jennifer Dubois was woken up by an emergency call about a fire.

"We got a call, woke us up at about six in the morning saying I think your building is on fire!" recalled Dubois, owner of Miyosiwin Salon Spa. "You feel like your in a dream, like this can't be real. It just felt surreal."

The April 6, 2018 blaze destroyed neighbouring Lang's Cafe and badly damaged the salon's building.

One year later, Dubois held Miyosiwin Salon Spa's grand reopening in the same building — but now the salon has a whole new look.

A Facebook post advertises Miyosiwin's reopening. (Miyosiwin Salon Spa/Facebook)

"We want people to come in and see the new space because it does look different." said Dubois

It's more of a celebration and a fundraiser- Jennifer Dubois, Miyosiwin Salon Spa

Dubois used the event as a chance to give back to the firefighters who helped to save her business.

The Miyosiwin Salon Spa is owned and operated by Indigenous people and focuses on promoting First Nations' culture to enhance the spa and hair services they provide. (Miyosiwin Salon Spa/Facebook)

"It's more of a celebration and a fundraiser," said Dubois. "All proceeds [are] going to the firemen's charities. The firemen are the ones that saved our building a year ago today."

"It's just a fun day.The firefighters are coming down. We're also going to have a fire truck just to commemorate the day."

The Miyosiwin Salon Spa is one of the three businesses that were affected by the blaze in 2018.   

In addition to the complete destruction of Lang's Cafe, a long standing restaurant in Regina's downtown, the disaster forced Wonderland Arcade to close its doors due to the extent of the damage.

Fire destroyed the building in downtown Regina. (Creeden Martell/CBC)

"They saved our building!" said Dubois "It was very scary that day and I remember the fire chief had mentioned that it was probably one of the most dangerous fires that they have worked on in quite a while."

Dubois said she is grateful that no one lost their lives that day.

"The response from the clients has been great. I think I didn't actually realize that until after the fire had happened how much we've moved people, and that really gave us the motivation to be back up and running again."

For months Dubois and her staff at the salon sorted through equipment or anything salvageable. Dubois said they were able to salvage about 10 per cent of the salon's original content.

"I was really happy and honoured to have the firemen that worked on site that day of the fire here. It was really nice to have them come in and see the space now." said Dubois

A fresh start

New and former clients also came to see the changes.

Jada Yee was one of the first to get a haircut on the special day. He has been Dubois' client for over a decade and said that he was proud to see Dubois succeed, especially after the fire.

"I remember sitting across the street with her and Mike watching her passion go up in flames," said Yee. "Talking about what's next and not knowing ... to one year later having this grand re-opening, I am so happy and proud for her."

Jada Yee has been a client of Dubois for over a decade. He is glad to see Miyosiwin Salon Spa back in business. He was one of the first customers for the Grand Re-opening. (Matt Howard CBC )

Miyosiwin Salon Spa is located on the 1700 block of Broad Street.