The Swift Current SPCA received some help from Santa and Mrs Claus at the annual Santa Paws fundraiser, Nov 26. Pet owners visited Cowtown in downtown Swift Current to have their pets photographed with the two North Pole visitors. There are many ways for people to still show their support for the Swift Current SPCA this festive season. The 2017 SPCA pet calendars are on sale for $10 each at the animal shelter, the SPCA bookstore and many businesses in the city. The SPCA also has a Christmas shoebox program this festive season. People are encouraged to fill and donate a shoebox with dog or cat items to the shelter or they can purchase a pre-made box for $20. The Swift Current SPCA 2016 holiday giving guide can now also be viewed on the shelter's website at The guide gives an option to select a donation amount for a specific purpose, for example a $25 donation will feed a shelter pet for one month.


The Registered Music Teachers of Swift Current hosted several events at the Art Gallery of Swift Current in celebration of Canada Music Week. Pianist Andrea Neustaeter performed some of her compositions during the reception for the Prairie Gothic exhibition at the gallery, Nov. 23. There was a performance by the Millar College of the Bible choir over noon on Nov. 24. Music teacher and guitarist Michael Lyngstad presented introductory workshops for guitar and ukulele on Nov. 26. Canada Music Week takes place annually during the third week of November to raise public awareness about the importance of Canadian music and to provide an opportunity to Canadian musicians to perform their work. Canada Music Week was initiated in 1960 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association.

Over 600 middle year students from different schools in Swift Current attended the eight annual Middle Years Youth Wellness Forum at École Centennial and All Saints schools, Nov. 21. The event, which is sponsored by the Swift Current Kiwanis Club, aims to provide students with information about lifestyle choices through presentations by two keynote speakers. The presenters at this year's forum were Keith Hawkins, an international speaker from California, and professional entertainer and motivational speaker Scott Hammell from Toronto. The event took place during the morning and in the afternoon Hawkins also spoke at Swift Current Comprehensive High School. Pictured, Keith Hawkins speaks to Grade 7 and 8 students in the École Centennial School gymnasium during a session at the eight annual Middle Years Youth Wellness Forum. He asked students not to judge others, but to find acceptance within themselves as a way to accept others. “What you see in others is what you see in yourself,” he said.


A supper to celebrate the Swift Current Lions Club’s 70th anniversary took place at Lions Hall in the city’s downtown area, Nov. 19. The event was attended by various dignitaries, including Lions District 5-SKS Governor Karen Holmes, and representatives from different Lions clubs around the province. Musical entertainment at the event was provided by Larry Gould (electrical guitar), Jim Pratt (saxophone) and Joan Williamson (piano). A highlight of the evening was the induction ceremony for three new Swift Current Lions Club members – Claire Hanson, Greg Miller and Joe Regier. The club has a proud history that actually stretches back more than 70 years. The first Lions club in Saskatchewan was established in Swift Current in 1927, but it folded in 1936. The Swift Current Lions was revived in December 1946 through sponsorship from the Herbert Lions Club. In return the Swift Current club sponsored the Cabri Lions in 1959 and the Climax Lions in 1975.


The official opening of The Meadows, the new 225-bed long-term care facility in Swift Current, took place in association with a housewarming event, Nov. 18. The come-and-go house warming event took place during the morning from 9 a.m. to noon while an official ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 11 a.m. The community centre was filled to capacity for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which included a brief program that was emceed by Vachon and with speeches by Minister of Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit and Cypress Regional Health Authority Chair Lyle Quintin. Vachon invited Minister Ottenbreit to open a time capsule that was discovered at the Palliser Regional Care Centre when residents and staff were leaving that former facility. The time capsule was put in a wall on Jan. 21, 1964.


A variety of inventive and delicious non-alcoholic drinks were created for the annual mocktail contest at at Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS), Nov. 17. The event was hosted by the school's Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) chapter. The contest judges were Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault and councillors George Bowditch, Chris Martens and Ron Toles, who tasted each mocktail before announcing the winning team. The school's Best Buddies chapter was declared as overall winners for creating the best mocktails, called Purple Monstrosity (blueberries and lemon juice blend) and Ba Ba Ba Banana (a blend of bananas, honey and milk). The SCCHS Peer Support Group received the prize for best presentation for their Star Wars themed table and costumes. The City of Swift Current received honourable mention for their sugarfree mocktails that used honey as an alternative natural sweetener.


Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Steacy talked about her career as a rugby player during a visit to Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS), Nov. 17. She spoke about the importance of perseverance and hard work to achieve dreams. She challenged students to find their passion and to get out of their comfort zone to reach their goals. She was a member of Canada's first ever women's rugby sevens Olympic team that won bronze at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She began playing rugby at the age of 15 and she started playing with Canada's women's rugby team in 2007. She has played for Canada in several Rugby World Cup competitions and she won gold as a member of the Canadian women's rugby team at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. She was named to the 2014-15 World Rugby Women's Sevens World Series Dream Team and she was Rugby Canada's Women's Sevens Player of the Year for 2014. She grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta, but she has family in Swift Current. Her father, Lorne Patzer, is a SCCHS graduate and recipient of the school's 1970-71 Athletic Leadership Award.

Three decades of author readings and literary cafés in Swift Current were celebrated with an evening of music and poetry at the Lyric Theatre, Nov. 16. Local rancher and cowboy poet Bryce Burnett shared his poems about rural life with the audience at the Write Out Loud 30th anniversary celebration. The musical entertainment was provided by Glenna Switzer, who recently released her debut album. She was joined on stage by two other local musicians, Mark Penner and Paula McGuigan. Local historian and artist Hugh Henry shared his memories about this literary tradition in the city, which started in 1986 when writer-in-residence Rick Hillis organized the first reading events. The initial presenters at these events were members of the local Shortgrass Writers Group, but over time the participation expanded to include authors from across the prairies. The reading series took place at different venues in the city over the years, including various restaurants. It found a new home at the Lyric Theatre in 2010 under a new name, Write Out Loud.

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