People were having fund and helping to raise funds for the Swift Current branch of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council during the 30th annual Ability Bowl at the Frontier Bowling Lanes, April 22. The theme of this year's fundraising event was Rock ‘n Bowl and a number of teams dressed as their favourite rock stars. The 42 teams and 230 fundraisers raised a total of $70,696.87. The top fundraising teams were Signs 'n Such ($5,700), SARCAN Superstars ($2,758.30) and Bowling Stones ($2,600). The top individual fundraisers were Dorothy Quebec ($5,342), Jarrod Schellenberg ($2,600) and Dwight Larter ($1,770). Carley Martinson, who raised $1,150.85, received the Bob Hayes Memorial plaque for the Saskatchewan Abilities Council client who raised the largest amount. The grand prize winner at this year's event was Dwight Larter, who received two floor tickets to a Guns N’ Roses concert in Regina as well as a one night stay at Hotel Saskatchewan and a $100 gas voucher. All the proceeds from Ability Bowl will be used by the Saskatchewan Abilities Council to fund the programs and services provided to over 2,000 people in the Swift Current area.
A rally against Bill 40 and the privatization of Crown corporations took place at the office of Swift Current MLA and Premier Brad Wall, April 21. A town hall meeting to create public awareness about the bill, which is currently under consideration by the provincial legislature, took place in Swift Current the previous evening. These events were organized by the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 397 and representatives from SEIU-West and Unifor Local 3 also participated in the activities. Similar events have taken place in other cities and towns across Saskatchewan.
Prince Albert poet and writing instructor Lynda Monahan was the featured author at the penultimate event in the 2016-17 Write Out Loud series at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, April 19. Current Voices, a women's a cappella group in Swift Current, provided the musical entertainment at the event. The group is directed by Mark Brooks. Monahan was introduced by Swift Current writer Peggy Worrell. Their friendship started many years ago when Worrell attended a creative writing class presented by Monahan in Prince Albert. Monahan has published three books of poetry and she frequently teaches creative writing in workshops across the province. She has worked with the hearing impaired, at-risk youth, inmates in correctional facilities, immigrants, seniors, palliative care patients and foster children to help them find their writing voice. She is the editor of two collections of stories by people with acquired brain injuries and their families, she facilitates a Writing for your Life group for persons with mental illnesses, and she is the current writer-in-residence at Prince Albert's John M. Cuelenaere Public Library. Rod MacIntyre will be the featured writer at the final event in the 2016-17 Write Out Loud series, May 17. He was a fiction award finalist for the 2016 Saskatchewan Book Awards and he was the writer-in-residence in Swift Current during 1997-98.
Open Stage, an evening of live music by talented local musicians, took place at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, April 13. The musical performances during the evening varied from hip hop to blues and the instruments on stage changed from banjos and guitars to a cello and an upright bass. Open Stage is a popular feature at the Lyric Theatre, both for musicians who want to share their music and for music fans who want to discover something new. The next Open Stage will be on May 11. There is an open jam from 7-8 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
A thrilling second round playoff series between the Swift Current Broncos and the Regina Pats was decided in the seventh game in Regina on April 17, when the Broncos lost 5-1 to conclude the team’s first season under new head coach Manny Viveiros. The Broncos took a 3-1 series lead in Swift Current on April 11 by winning 5-4 in triple overtime, but the Pats won the next three games. The Pats won 3-2 in Regina on April 14 and the Broncos had another opportunity to wrap up the series in Swift Current on April 15, but the home team gave up a 3-1 lead in the second period and the Pats won 5-3 to force game seven in Regina. This was the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Broncos played in the Eastern Conference semi-final. Pictured are images from the triple overtime game at the Innovation Credit Union i-plex on April 11, when the Broncos defeated the Pats 5-4.
Students from Val Marie School spoke about the benefits of using Chromebooks in their classrooms and for online learning during a presentation at a regular meeting of the Chinook School Division board in Swift Current, April 10. Grade 10 student Taylor Platt and Grade 6 students Katherine Andree, Daniel Cornoc and Ashlee Waldner were accompanied by Val Marie School Principal Angela Clement and Cyber School Principal Shelby Budd. The students referred to the different applications they have been using on Chromebooks, for example to make presentations and book trailers. They felt document sharing is one of the best features on Chromebooks because it makes group projects easier.
The Swift Current Oratorio Choir, which is in its 44th season, performed the choral work The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins at the Bridgeway Community Church, April 9. The choir presents two major concerts every year in the spring near Easter and during the Christmas season. This year's spring concert took place on the day of commemoration for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which made the performance of this choral work about the horrors of war a fitting tribute. The music and words had even more impact because a video, which was specifically created for The Armed Man, was screened at the same time. The choir performed with the acclaimed Regina Symphony Chambers Players and the program included a performance of the choral work Song of Destiny (Schicksalslied) by German composer Johannes Brahms.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #56 Swift Current held a parade and ceremony on April 9 to commemorate the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which took place 100 years ago in Europe during the First World War. More than 3,500 Canadians were killed during the battle in 1917, which lasted from April 9 to 12. The Canadian victory is historically significant because it was the first time that all four Canadian divisions were together in a single battle, which contributed to a feeling of national unity. Thirty members of the 209th Battallion, which was established in Swift Current in February 2016 with recruits from southwest Saskatchewan, were killed in action at Vimy Ridge. Members of 605 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Tarry Squadron and 259 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Drylander participated in the commemoration ceremony at the cenotaph in Memorial Park. Salvation Army Major Don Grad did the scripture reading from Psalm 23. Dave Boucher, the president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #56 Swift Current, and Petty Officer First Class Theo Lautsch of the 259 Drylander Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps placed a wreath at the cenotaph.
Thousands of Saskatchewan residents attended rallies across the province on April 7 to express their concerns over major funding cuts to the provincial library system. In Swift Current over 200 people participated in the rally outside the office of local MLA and Premier Brad Wall during the noon hour. Close to 100 people gathered at the Swift Current Branch Library and walked to the central downtown area, where they joined other people in front of Premier Wall’s office. A number of speakers shared their concerns about the library budget cuts with the crowd. After the speeches the rally participants opened their books and read. A distinctive feature of the Swift Current rally was the presence of a donkey and therapy dog. The donkey Shimmer has been a regular part of the Swift Current Branch Library’s summer reading club activities during the past two years. The therapy dog Talla comes to the library a few times every month for the Reading to a Dog event, which makes it easier for children to practice their reading skills.
The 40th annual Swift Current Hobby, Craft and Gun Spring Show took place in the Stockade at Kinetic Exhibition Park, April 1 and 2. The event was well attended and according to show organizer Henry Banman there were around 2,100 visitors during the weekend. There were over 75 exhibitors and the 235 tables were filled with a variety of merchandise. There was a large selection of firearms and ammunition as well as coins, stamps, antiques, leather, glassware and various other collectables for sale. Banman has also organized a fall show for the past nine years and the 10th annual fall show on Nov. 4 and 5 will therefore be of special significance, as it will be the 50th hobby, craft and gun show in Swift Current since 1977.