Matthew Liebenberg

Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

The South Asian community in Swift Current hosted a Diwali celebration at the First United Church gymnasium, Nov. 15. Diwali or the Festival of Lights is an ancient Hindu festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil. People enjoyed a meal and watched dancing performances by Pearl Munim, Tintu Sebastian and Ankita Das. Eight-year-old Vaishnavi Gali performed some of her favourite songs on a keyboard piano and concluded by playing the national anthem of India. Audience members also participated in the celebrations by dancing the Garba, a traditional folk dance.

 

Local artists showed their support for an initiative to establish an emergency shelter for youth in southwest Saskatchewan with a fundraising concert at the Living Sky Casino Sky Centre, Nov. 14. The “Concert in the Sky” was a benefit event for Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter (SwYES), a non-profit group that aims to develop an emergency shelter in Swift Current for youth between the ages 14 to 18 who are homeless or living in unsafe conditions. The participating artists in the concert were singer-songwriter Becky Neustaeter, the folk/roots/country group Creek City, country/blues singer-songwriter Jacqueline Hudec and the ambient alternative rock group Bears in Hazenmore.

 

 

The first performance of Swift Current Little Theatre's fall production of the comedy The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild (F.A.H.E.T.G.) Dramatic Society Murder Mystery took place at the Beatty Playhouse in the Great Plains College gym, Nov. 12. The five cast members play a variety of characters in this comedy about the disastrous efforts of a dramatic society to carry on with the performance when everything goes wrong with the production. Stage scenery collapses, actors forget their lines, cues are missed, and a variety of technical mishaps take place. There were three performances of this production last week and the final two performances are pub nights on Nov. 20 and 21. The members of the cast are: Nancy Bridal, Tara Garcia, Carisma Toles, Ron Toles and Lindsay Woods. The director is Ken Johnson, Kurtis Bakanec is the stage manager and the producers are Wendy Lockman and Bruce Rayner.

 

The annual Remembrance Day commemoration in Swift Current started with a parade from the Royal Canadian Legion Hall to the cenotaph in Memorial Park. Cadets from the 605 Tarry Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets stood on guard at the cenotaph from the previous night, starting at 10 p.m. on Nov. 10, until  shortly before the parade at 9 a.m. on Nov. 11. The parade was attended by around 100 people and 14 wreaths were placed at the cenotaph. The Remembrance Day service at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School started at 10:50 a.m. A large crowd of around 300 people filled up the cafeteria at the school for the service and 33 wreaths were laid during the ceremony.

 

People enjoyed fine dining in support of a good cause at the inaugural Swift Current United Way's Foundation of Hope gala that was held at the Living Sky Casino Sky Centre, Nov. 7. The glamorous evening, which had a vintage Hollywood soiree theme, was held to recognize the work done by the 12 local non-profit organizations funded annually by the Swift Current United Way and to raise funds for the United Way's annual campaign in support of these organizations. The nearly sold out event included live and silent auctions, beneficiary awards as well as live music and a dance. The 12 non-profit groups were recognized during the beneficiary awards when Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz presented each organization with an award that reflects its attributes and qualities. The award recipients were the Canadian Red Cross (Peace Award), Canadian National Institute for the Blind (Vision Award), Saskatchewan Abilities Council (Encouragement Award), Canadian Mental Health Association (Integrity Award), Early Childhood Intervention Program (Dream Award), Family Resource Centre (Growth Award), Canadian Paraplegic Association (Determination Award), Salvation Army (Compassion Award), Swift Current Community Youth Initiative – The Center (Acceptance Award), Southwest Homes (Equality Award), United Way Active Play (Creative Award) and Southwest Crisis Services (Dignity Award). Auctioneer Gordie Cameron took bids during the live auction. The gala raised a total of just over $70,000 that will assist the Swift Current United Way to reach its fundraising campaign goal of $100,000 for this year.

 

 

The 36th annual Saskatchewan Square and Round Dance Federation (SSRDF) weekend took place in Swift Current from Nov. 6-8. The dance weekend and annual general meeting was attended by around 150 dancers from across the province and there were also a number of participants from Alberta. The square and round dancing as well as the Nov. 7 banquet took place at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School while the dancing sessions for the cloggers took place at the Lt. Col. Clifton Recreation Centre. The event was hosted by the Swift Current clubs for cloggers, square and round dancers that present Zone 6 in the SSRDF. This was the fifth time since the early 1980s that the annual SSRDF weekend took place in Swift Current.

 

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation's large debt clock is travelling to communities around Saskatchewan to highlight the growing provincial debt. According to the CTF the provincial debt has been increasing at a daily rate of $2.7 million since April 1. CTF Prairie Director Todd MacKay brought the debt clock to Swift Current on Nov. 4 and the clock also travelled to Maple Creek and Shaunavon on the same day. The CTF debt clock can be viewed online at SaskDebtClock.ca

 

Members of Swift Current Little Theatre were rehearsing for their upcoming fall production, Nov. 3. They will be performing the comedy The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery. It will provide audiences with plenty of laughs as they watch a drama group's disastrous opening night when everything goes wrong. Stage scenery collapses, actors forget their lines, and the sound and lighting effects provide some surprises. There will be five performances, starting with the regular performance on Nov. 12, dinner theatre on Nov. 13 and pub nights on Nov. 14, 20 and 21. All performances take place at the Beatty Playhouse in the Great Plains College gym and tickets are available at Pharmasave.

 

The Swift Current Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 56 held a flag raising ceremony for Veteran's Week on Market Square in downtown Swift Current, Nov. 2. Participants in the ceremony were Swift Current Legion President Vel Burns, Poppy Chairperson Jeff Giesbrecht, Swift Current Legion Past President Harvey Wiebe and Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer. Afterward Burns and Giesbrecht attached handmade poppies to the Memorial Drive road signs at the north and south entrances to Swift Current along Highway No. 4 to highlight Veteran's Week and the upcoming Remembrance Day. The large handmade poppies were crocheted by Val Salter, a member of the St. Stephens Anglican Church in Swift Current, as a gift to the local Legion in recognition of the annual D-Day service that is hosted every year at the church. The portion of Highway 4 within city boundaries was renamed to Memorial Drive in 2011. Poppy sales in Swift Current started on Oct. 30. Poppies are available at many businesses in the city and there will also be manned poppy trays at the Swift Current Mall, WalMart and SLGA liquor store on Nov. 6, 7 and 10.

 

The Cypress Health Region's 4th annual Safety Expo to inform staff members and the public about the importance of safety took place at the Cypress Regional Hospital, Oct. 26-30. The health region expanded this year's expo to a five-day event as a result of positive feedback from people who attended the previous two-day event. The Safety Expo happened during Canadian Patient Safety Week and different safety issues were highlighted on each day. Monday's theme was patient and family centered care, Tuesday's focus was on emergency room visits and Wednesday was staff safety day. There was a patient safety day and health fair on Thursday and Friday's mock room of horrors provided education on safety and infection controls.

 

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