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.
A book launch for Swift Current author Irene Bingham's first full-length novel took place at the Swift Current Branch Library, Nov. 16. The book, titled And Heaven Finds a Witness, is a murder mystery. Bingham's novel is a work of fiction, but she used information from two actual events from the 1980s as background to create her story. The one is an unsolved murder case from Cook’s Inlet in Alaska and the other is related to the Wells Gray family murders in British Columbia. In an effort to solve that case, the RCMP drove a replica of the one family’s missing camper truck across Canada. In her story a police officer from Alaska solves a cold case with help from a witness from Saskatchewan.
A three-day community open house took place at Dorie's House, an emergency shelter in Swift Current for homeless youth in southwest Saskatchewan, from Nov. 14 to 16. It was an opportunity for people to see what the completed shelter looks like. Pictured are images from a media tour of the facility on Nov. 14. Representatives from the City of Swift Current, the Cypress Health Region and Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter (YES) board members were present at the media tour. Southwest YES President Bob Hale presented gifts to Tom and Charmaine Westbury to recognize their role in coordinating the construction of the shelter. The project had been a community build that involved donations of expertise, labour and materials from local contractors and businesses. Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault presented a plaque to Southwest YES to congratulate the non-profit organization on the completion of the shelter. The facility will provide accommodation to up to eight young people of all genders between the ages of 14 and 18. They will be able to stay in the facility for up to 90 days. The shelter will start to accommodate homeless youth on Jan. 15, 2017.
The Cypress Diabetes Partners in association with Pharmasave hosted the 12th annual Diabetes Forum in Swift Current on World Diabetes Day, Nov. 14. The event took place in the gathering room at Pharmasave. The forum had a come and go format during the morning with various interactive stations to provide information on different topics, for example tips on good foot wear, blood pressure testing, blood sugar testing and meter demonstrations. There were two presentations at the forum. Dr. Heath Holliday, an optometrist in Swift Current, spoke during the noon hour about eye health for people with diabetes. The forum concluded with an interactive 30-minute session about gentle chair yoga by Sue Johnston.
Folk/roots band Creek City held an official CD release concert for their debut album Chronicles at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, Nov. 12. The four band members, who are from Herbert and Swift Current, have been performing as a group since May 2013. The 13 songs on the album is a mix of older and newer songs that have been written by band members Dave Cyca and Mark Penner. The band members are Michael Tetrault (drums), Donovan Epp (bass), Dave Cyca (guitar, lead vocals) and Mark Penner (guitar, lead vocals).
Patrons at the inaugural ZOE Greek Night in Swift Current on Nov. 12 enjoyed an evening of fine food and entertainment while helping to make a young boy’s wish come true. The sold out event at the Days Inn raised money for the Saskatchewan Chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. The funds will be used to grant a wish to a 10-year-old boy from the Swift Current area who suffers from cystic fibrosis. He expressed a wish to go on an African safari with his family. The event was hosted by Swift Current’s Greek Orthodox community as a way to continue their charitable efforts in a different format after raising more than $850,000 over 17 years through the annual Night Out in Greece. Most of the funds from Night Out in Greece were donated to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. ZOE Greek Night is a new fundraising initiative that will focus on providing support for other charitable organizations.
Métis veterans from Lac Pelletier valley were honoured during a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Métis veterans monument in Lac Pelletier Regional Park, Nov. 11. The Canadian and Métis flags were raised and family of the veterans laid wreaths in honour of their loved ones. The monument, which was erected three years ago, gives recognition to the contribution of 16 Métis men and women who left their families in the valley to serve Canada in the First and Second World War and the Korean War. Métis elder and Prairie Dog Métis Local 123 President Cecile Blanke was the speaker during the ceremony.