Matthew Liebenberg

Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

Various activities took place in Swift Current from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 as part of the 8th annual Culture Days weekend in Canada. This national event happens on the last Friday and weekend in September in communities across the country to celebrate the diversity of cultural life in Canada through free events that are hosted by community and cultural organizations to promote greater cultural engagement by Canadians. The events in Swift Current started on Sept. 29 with an opening reception at the Art Gallery of Swift Current for the new exhibition Plantscapes of the Prairies by Maple Creek artist Geoff Phillips. On Sept. 30 the Swift Current Museum hosted an event to officially release the latest production in the museum's video series, Stories from the Great Southwest. This video, History of the  Métis, highlights the role of the Métis through the story of local resident Barb Parchman's family, who used Red River carts during the 19th century to transport freight from Montana to Battleford. After the video release there was a Red River cart building demonstration by George Fayant, a Red River cart builder from Regina. The opening of the Swift Current Museum's new exhibition Let's Dance was celebrated on Oct. 1 with different dance demonstrations by local groups during the afternoon.

 

The 2017-18 Blenders Art + Music concert season at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current started with high-energy performances by two very different groups, Sept. 30. The Montreal duo, Les Deuxluxes, started the evening with their unique brand of vintage surf rock. Thereafter the audience was treated to an enthusiastic trash folk performance by Montreal singer-songwriter and New Brunswick native Lisa LeBlanc and her band. The annual Blenders concert series brings live performances by some of Canada's best musicians to Swift Current. There are 13 regular concerts during the 2017-18 season. The next concert on Oct. 21 will feature Winnipeg band Lanikai along with Swift Current roots singer-songwriter Jacqueline Hudec and roots and blues musician Rob Hudec of Medicine Hat.

 

The community of Swift Current's contribution to the Canada 150 Mosaic project was unveiled at Market Square, Sept. 30. The mural consists of 400 tiles that were assembled to reflect the theme of wind. Three wind turbines in a rural landscape and colourful kites in a clear blue sky are prominent features of the mural. Community members had an opportunity to participate in the project during a tile painting event at Market Square from Aug. 18-20, when they painted images on individual tiles. The completed mural will be installed on an exterior wall at City Hall and it will face towards the Frank Rempel Centennial Plaza across the street. The Canada 150 Mosaic project is a national initiative to celebrate the country's cultural and geographical diversity during Canada's 150th birthday. Over 80,000 paintings and 150 murals will be created and each community mural will be installed in the town or city where it was created.

 

Two members of the Swift Current Fire Department have received the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal. Firefighter Trevor Braun received his medal from Lt.-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield during a ceremony in Regina, Sept. 12. Capt. Rick Anderson was unable to attend that event, and a medal presentation was done by Mayor Denis Perrault during a City of Swift Current regular council meeting, Sept. 25. Pictured, from left to right, Swift Current Fire Chief Denis Pilon, Capt. Rick Anderson, and Mayor Denis Perrault. The Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal recognizes the service of fire, emergency, police, and other safety and security professionals. It is awarded to individuals who have provided 25 or more years of exemplary service in a volunteer or full-time capacity to protect Saskatchewan residents or their property.

The leadership of the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) held a meeting with physicians in the Cypress Health Region during an event in Swift Current, Sept. 19.

The first ever outdoor amateur boxing event in Saskatchewan took place under the lights of a baseball field in Swift Current, Sept. 23. The inaugural Earl Monkman Memorial Boxing Card Fall Brawl Under the Lights at Mitchell Field was the result of a partnership between the Swift Current 57's baseball club and the local Vic-Tory Boxing Club. Boxing fans were treated to six bouts by boxers that ranged in age from eight to 40 years. Boxers from southwest Saskatchewan competed in five of the bouts. The first bout was an exhibition match between eight-year-old female rookies Abigail Blohm of Sandhills Boxing Club and Sydney Collinge of Lloydminster in the 28 kg weight class. Ten-year-old rookie Jaxson Williams of Swift Current impressed during his debut against nine-year-old Mohammed Faison-Farooq Dar of Lloydminster, who was in his second fight, in the 36 kg weight class. Both fighters traded blows for three rounds, but no winner was declared because it was an initiation fight. Quasim Mirza (12) of the Jaguar Boxing Club in Regina won his fight against Riley Hnatiu (14) of North Battleford in the 52 kg division. Swift Current boxers Dustin Auseth and Nick Habscheid got a good cheer from the crowd during their exhibition match in the 97 kg weight class. The exhibition match between Swift Current rookie Jesse Kitchen and Lloydminster's Emile Smith, who already had three fights, was stopped in the third round after some heavy hitting by Smith. The main bout of the evening took place between Shaunavon's Dakota Mcfadyen, who made his debut in the 97 kg division, and Adam Toto of the Lonsdale Boxing Club in Regina, who had four previous bouts. They were well matched and Toto won the fight on a split decision.

 

Ranching life was celebrated at the 11th annual Ranchman’s Ridin’ and Recitin’ in Swift Current, Sept. 23-24. The event at Kinetic Exhibition Park was hosted by the Swift Current Agricultural and Exhibition Association to showcase the region's western heritage. It included a heavy horse competition, stock dog trials and a cattle pen show, as well as a ranch rodeo. The event included the Junior Stockman’s Show that provided youth an opportunity to develop farming and leadership skills through activities such as a showmanship competition and a cattle show. At the same time, the Little Stocker’s program was presented for children aged eight and under to learn about agriculture through educational and fun activities.

 

The Swift Current Arts Council's 2017/18 Stars for Saskatchewan concert series started on a high note with a performance by the pop/crossover group Citizen West, Sept. 21. The group combines the three voices of tenors Cody Karey, Marc Devigne and Brett Pruneau with composer and multi-instrumentalist Trevor Hoffmann to provide a memorable musical experience. There will be a variety of musical performances  during the Swift Current Arts Council's 2017/18 series, which will run until May 2018. Award-winning Canadian pianist and singer-songwriter Laila Biali will perform at the next show at the Living Sky Casino event centre, Oct. 24. Her music is a blend of jazz and pop, and she has performed with notable musicians such as Sting and Diana Krall. For more information about the concert series, visit the Arts Council's website at www.scartscouncil.ca



Students returned to the food farm at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre on Sept. 21 to see what happened over the summer to the seeds planted there in the spring. The event was attended by 178 students from six schools in southwest Saskatchewan, who learned in a hands-on way about agriculture and food production. The students were from Gull Lake, Success, Waldeck, and Swift Current (École Centennial, Fairview and O.M. Irwin schools). This two-part educational program gave students an opportunity in the spring to participate in the planting of seeds and then to see the results in the fall. The initiative is coordinated by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture in association with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Swift Current Research and Development Centre and other industry partners.

 

Zarqa Nawaz, the creator of the hit CBC sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie, was the featured author at the first Write Out Loud event of the 2017-2018 season at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, Sept. 20. Nawaz is a freelance writer, journalist, broadcaster, and filmmaker from Regina who uses comedy to explore the relationships between Muslims and their neighbours in contemporary North America.  The evening started with a musical performance by Maverick School Grade 12 student Catrina Kearney. Thereafter Nawaz spoke about the experience of working on the popular sitcom series Little Mosque on the Prairie as well as her new writing endeavours. She presented her idea for a new comedy about a Muslim family in the United States to the audience. She will soon be travelling to Los Angeles to present this proposal for a sitcom to U.S. television executives. She also read an excerpt from her new book, Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, which was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. The Write Out Loud series presents readings by acclaimed Canadian authors to local literary fans. Write Out Loud will host award-winning western Canadian historian Bill Waiser at the Lyric Theatre, Oct. 18. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event starts at 7 p.m. with musical entertainment.

 

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