A departure ceremony took place in Swift Current on Aug. 3 for a group of walkers on a 18-day walk to Battleford. The ceremony took place at the the Battleford Trail Ruts Municipal Heritage Site. Speakers at the ceremony included walk organizer Hugh Henry, Métis elder Cecile Blanke, and Staff Sgt. Gary Hodges of the Swift Current RCMP detachment. Some of the people at the ceremony accompanied the walkers to the outskirts of the city and along the initial few kilometres of a gravel road. The walk was organized by Swift Current resident Hugh Henry, who is the vice-president of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society. The walk will closely follow the route of the historic Swift Current – Battleford Trail, which was an important trade route between the two communities from 1883 to 1890. Only a few walkers, including Henry, will complete the entire distances. Some of the walkers who started in Swift Current will only go halfway while other walkers will join the group for a day or two along the route. The walk will conclude with an event at Fort Battleford on Aug. 20.

 

Visitors to the Doc's Town Heritage Village in Swift Current had an opportunity to experience the traditional art of blacksmithing during a blacksmith hammer-in at the William Ball blacksmith shop, July 30. This annual Made by Hand event at Doc's Town included an exhibition of hand-made quilts by Linda Duclos of Admiral in the old church building. Special programming takes place every Sunday afternoon at the heritage village, which is located at Kinetic Exhibition Park. The buildings at Doc's Town are open from 1-5 p.m. from Friday to Sunday as well as holiday Mondays until Labour Day. Upcoming events include hymn singing at the church on Aug. 6 at 2 p.m., a line dance party at the Airmen's Billet on Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. and a country music jam session at the Airmen's Billet on Aug. 13 at 2 p.m.

 

The third in a series of free bi-weekly events in southwest Saskatchewan to celebrate Canada 150 and cultural diversity in Saskatchewan took place at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, July 29. The Southwest CultureFest is organized by the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre to promote inclusion and to build stronger community relationships. This event featured performances by the Creeland Dancers from the Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation and the Swift Current progressive rock band The Moon Runners. Tinto Sebastian danced during a brief appearance at the event to give the audience a preview of her upcoming performance at the Southwest CultureFest events in August. The next two events in this festival series takes place at the Grand Coteau Heritage and Cultural Centre in Shaunavon on Aug. 11 and the Lyric Theatre on Aug. 12, with both shows starting at 7 p.m. The performers at both these events will be Tunde, the African warrior (a West African dance fusion project) and Tinto Sebastian, who will perform Bollywood and traditional Indian dances.

Young musicians had an opportunity to perform on stage in front of an audience at the Lyric Theatre, July 27.  The Blenders summer concert concluded the weeklong Swift Current Music Camp for musicians between the ages of 13 to 18.  The students were able to learn from experienced musicians during the week with sessions on listening, techniques, performing, theory, group dynamics and stage presence that will help them to get ready to play in a contemporary band. The camp activities took place at Maverick School, the Lyric Theatre and outdoors at Gowan's Grove on a farm near the city. Canadian singer-songwriter Dagan Harding spent the final afternoon of the camp with the students and he also performed that evening at the concert. The ambient alternative rock band Bears in Hazenmore was the opening act at the music camp's summer concert, July 27. Band members were instructors at the Swift Current Music Camp. Four music camp bands performed at the concert.

 

The 23rd annual Mennonite Heritage Village Watermelon Festival took place in Swift Current, July 23. Visitors enjoyed slices of cold watermelon with “roll kuchen”or rolled cookie, which is a deep-fried pastry prepared in large vats of boiling oil. The event was well attended and volunteers sliced 75 watermelons during the afternoon. The festival is the main fundraising event for the village and funds are used for the upkeep of the homestead and church. The annual a cappella sing-along in the historic Sommerfeld Church at the village takes place Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. The Mennonite Heritage Village, which is situated next to Kinetic Exhibition Park, is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until Sept. 4.

 

People filled the pews in the old church building at Doc's Town Heritage Village in Swift Current to listen to cowboy poetry, July 23. Swift Current's Bryce Burnett and Brian Anderson of Hazlet shared their poetry about cowboy life with an appreciative audience. Swift Current resident John Klassen, an audience member, also read a poem at the event. The buildings at Doc's Town are open from 1-5 p.m. from Friday to Sunday as well as holiday Mondays until Labour Day, and special programming takes place every Sunday afternoon. Visitors can enjoy demonstrations of different crafts during the Made by Hand event on July 30, which will include a blacksmith's hammer-in at the William Ball blacksmith shop.

 

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