Saskatoon

Fast friends: Saskatoon event aims to find you a pal

Amy Rederburg is the woman behind DoSask.com, a website that offers dating tips and ideas, and also serves as a platform for speed dating events. Now she’s trying something new by hosting an event that leaves romance behind and focuses on friends.

At this speed dating style gathering, the 'friend zone' is where you want to end up

A Saskatoon woman is holding a speed friending night at a local pub to help people connect. (CBC)

In some circles the "friend zone" is a place to avoid, but at an upcoming social event set for a Saskatoon pub, it's exactly the point.

"It's not a dating event," declared Amy Rederburg.

Rederburg is the woman behind DoSask.com, a website that offers dating tips and ideas, and also serves as a platform for speed dating events. Now she's trying something new by hosting an event that leaves romance behind and focuses on friends.

I would say about 90 percent of communication happens with body language.- Amy Rederburg 

"I think it's really hard to meet friends," Rederburg said.

Adults might find themselves friendless for any number of reasons. Perhaps you've moved to a new city? Maybe you've been busy raising children, or have been focused on your career? Whatever the case may be, Rederburg said she is here to play friend maker.

When's the last time you made a new friend? Not an acquaintance. A friend? As an adult, that task is harder than it seems. That's why Amy Rederburg has organized something called 'speed friending' here in Saskatoon. It's like speed dating... but for people hoping to keep things in that friend zone. Amy spoke with Saskatoon Morning's Jennifer Quesnel. 7:02

How does it work?

Speed-friending borrows the format and rules from speed dating. In essence, there is a pool of people who've come together to find friends. Potential matches come face-to-face for a quick chat, then move on to another candidate. In this case though, people are looking for friendship, not romance.

There are a couple of other rules. Rederburg has taken away some conversation crutches. The weather is still on the menu, but chit chat about jobs and what part of the city you live in is out.

"This way you're talking about other things is what makes you a human," she said.

"This is definitely more of who are you as a person…opening your mind to new ideas and new people."

Amy Rederburg says she does a good job of introducing ice breakers that will help would-be friends work past conversation crutches and quickly get to a deeper level. (CBC)

At the same time, Rederburg doesn't want would-be friend finders to get hung up on the idea of having deep conversations with strangers. She believes there is much more happening in face-to-face conversations than just the words that are being exchanged.

"I would say about 90 percent of communication happens with body language … so you're really judging people for how they show up … how they act, their tone of voice."

Be brave

Rederburg admits the idea of showing up to a pub (in this case, Saskatoon's Hose and Hydrant on May 22/19) to engage in quick face to face conversations with strangers in hopes of meeting that special platonic someone might feel a little daunting.

"I think if you are shy you should put it aside," she said.

"I think it's really important to have that face-to-face connection because things are so fast, the world is moving very fast."

About the Author

Danny Kerslake is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio stations across Western Canada. In his career with CBC Saskatchewan, Danny has reported from every corner of the province and has lived and worked in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Danny is a newsreader and digital AP for CBC Saskatoon.

with files from Saskatoon Morning

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