A celebration of the blues took place at the annual StirCrazy Blues Concert in Swift Current, Feb. 25. The concert at the Lyric Theatre was part of the 2016-17 Blenders concert series and featured the 24th Street Wailers, a five-member band from Toronto that received a 2015 Juno nomination for blues album of the year. Their music and on-stage showmanship are inspired by 1940's and 1950's rhythm and blues that influenced rock and roll. Their Swift Current performance was their first Canadian tour stop on their current North American tour.
Former Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Henry Burris was the guest speaker at the 2017 Swift Current 57's Baseball Club Field of Dreams dinner at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall in Swift Current, Feb. 25. He spoke about the ups and downs of his career, which included three Grey Cup championships with two different teams, the Calgary Stampeders in 1998 and 2008, and with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2016. Burris announced his retirement from professional football in January 2017. He spoke about the importance of building strong communities that support young people and he expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Swift Current 57's to help young men to make their dreams come true. The event was sold out and included live and silent auctions. Field of Dreams has been an important fundraiser for the baseball team during the past 18 years. The team has a new name and colours after a recent rebranding process, and funds raised from this year's event will be used to buy uniforms for the upcoming season.
The Swift Current Curling Club hosted the 2017 Senior Men's and Women's Provincial Championships, Feb. 22-26. Eight teams participated in each event and a local team, skipped by Max Kirkpatrick, competed in the men's event. He was in second place after the seven-game round robin with only two losses, but Kirkpatrick was eliminated in the semi-final by Saskatoon's Brian Humble of the Sutherland Curling Club. Kirkpatrick had a 3-2 lead after six ends, but four points in the 7th end gave Humble the 6-3 win. The winner of the men's final was Darrell McKee of Saskatoon's Nutana Curling Club, who scored a single point during the final end to win 3-2. In the senior women's final the defending champion Sherry Anderson of Nutana Curling Club defeated Moose Jaw's Lorraine Arguin with a final score of 8-4. McKee and Anderson will represent Saskatchewan at the 2017 Senior Men's and Women's Canadian Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick, March 20-25. Pictured is the Swift Current team of Max Kirkpatrick during a game against the rink of Kelvington's Brent Franko, Feb. 23. The members of Kirkpatrick's team are third Wayne Charteris, second Mitch Minken and lead Greg Hannay.
Award-winning interdisciplinary artist Joseph Naytowhow shared his music and stories about his own life with people during an aboriginal storytelling event at the Swift Current Branch Library, Feb. 22. He also spoke at similar storytelling events at Ponteix Library on Feb. 23 and at the Nekaneet First Nation, Feb. 24. These events happened as part of the celebration of Saskatchewan Aboriginal Storytelling Month in the province during the month of February. It was the 14th year that Saskatchewan Aboriginal Storytelling Month took place to promote the rich oral history and cultural traditions of First Nations and Métis people. The celebrations at venues across the province were coordinated by the Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal Peoples committee. Naytowhow will make an appearance at two other events in southwest Saskatchewan during March. He will be in Swift Current for the Lyric Theatre's Write Out Loud event on March 15 and he will participate in World Storytelling Day in Grasslands at the Prairie Community Centre in Val Marie, March 18. These events will start at 7 p.m. and in both instances he will share the stage with Val Marie based writer, storyteller and performer Madonna Hamel.
A lack of snow did not dampen the spirits of participants at the Winter Carnival in Swift Current, Feb. 22. There was a good turnout of families for the indoor fun at the Walker Place gymnasium. Due to mild temperatures the outdoor rinks in the city closed the previous week, but children still had an opportunity to skate indoors with the Swift Current Broncos at the Credit Union iPlex. The carnival was hosted by the Parent Support Network with support from the Swift Current Kiwanis and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), which made a cheque presentation of $5,000 at the event. The Winter Carnival was part of Family Fun Week in Swift Current, which is organized by the City of Swift Current's Community Services in association with various community partners and sponsors during the February school break to provide families with opportunities to participate in activities that encourage physical activity.
The 2017 Living Sky Casino Pow Wow took place in Swift Current, Feb. 18-19. The event was held at the Stockade in Kinetic Exhibition Park. It is part of the North American Pow Wow circuit and drew participants from across Canada and the United States. Dancers made two grand entries on the first day of the event and another grand entry took place on the second day. A new addition to this year's event was a hand games tournament, which took place from Feb. 17-19.
Swimmers from across the province participated in a swim meet hosted by Special Olympics Swift Current at the Aquatic Centre, Feb. 19. Six teams competed at the event, with swimmers coming from Humboldt, North Battleford, Regina, Saskatoon and Weyburn. Nine local swimmers were in the pool. Below are the Swift Current team results (top five placing for individual events):
Katie Durant – 1st 200m breaststroke, 3rd 100m backstroke, 1st 200m backstroke, 2nd 100m breaststroke, 1st 400m freestyle; Carrie Funk – 1st 50m freestyle choice kick, 4th 50m backstroke; Tamara Gleim – 1st 50m freestyle choice kick; David Philip – 2nd 50m breaststroke, 3rd 200m backstroke; Harold Robinson – 4th 50m backstroke; Jenae Ruetz – 1st 50m butterfly, 2nd 200m intermediate, 4th 100m freestyle, 1st 200m freestyle, 5th 100m breaststroke; Tyler Servant – 3rd 50m freestyle, 4th 100m backstroke, 1st 200m backstroke, 4th 200m freestyle, 3rd 400m freestyle.
The Swift Current Judo Club hosted their home tournament at Walker Place, Feb. 18. There were 105 competitors in 148 entries at the tournament. Participants represented 13 different clubs from Saskatchewan and there were also competitors from three Alberta clubs. Below are the results for the Swift Current Judo Club:
U14 Male under 34 kg – 1st. Ty Elias; U14 Male under 38 kg – 5th Austin Hammer; U14 Male under 46/50 kg combined – 3rd Conner Hammer; U16 Male under 66/73 kg combined – 1st Ghrandozz Aguilar; U18 Male under 73/81 kg combined – 5th Ghrandozz Aguilar; Senior Men under 100 kg – 1st Justin Filteau; Senior Men over 100 kg – 3rd Toru Iwaasa.
The 7th annual Cramer Livestock and Crop Production Expo took place in the Stockade building at Kinetic Exhibition Park in Swift Current, Feb. 16. There were 106 commercial exhibits at the event and 70 companies displayed a variety of agriculture products. As in previous years the event was well attended. A highlight of the expo is the Cramer Cup Series with awards for entrants in the baking, egg grading, canola, forage and hog carcass competitions. The top five hog carcasses were auctioned for charity and the beneficiaries of this year's donation of fresh pork from Hutterite colonies were the Ranch Ehrlo Society, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Salvation Army branches in Regina and Swift Current.
Several local authors were featured at the Write Out Loud Local Writers Night at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, Feb. 15. Swift Current's Anthea Loran read from her latest publication Recollections and Reflections and some of her paintings were also on display at the event. Author and editor Ted Dyck introduced three authors who are participants in the Writing for Your Life group in Eastend. William R. Coombes read from a story that reflects on aging, Reesa Brotherton of Ponteix read from her recently completed book Melba's Wash and German-born writer Mareike Neuhaus, who now lives in Shaunavon, shared some of her poems with the audience. The final presenter was Swift Current's Christine Ciona, a personal growth and wellness coach who has published a meditation guide book and she is also a freelance writer for the Prairie Post. The next Write Out Loud event on March 15 will feature award-winning interdisciplinary artist Joseph Naytowhow and Val Marie writer, storyteller and performer Madonna Hamel.