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.

 

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