The top cowboys and cowgirls on the Canadian Cowboys Association (CCA) rodeo circuit attended the CCA Finals Rodeo in Swift Current, Oct. 19-22. This was the first time that the CCA Finals took place at the Credit Union iPlex since the Swift Current Agricultural and Exhibition Association concluded a five-year agreement with the CCA to have the event in Swift Current. The event is the culmination of the CCA rodeo season. Only the top 10 in each major event and the top six in each junior event along with the winners of the Peavey Mart Tour qualify to compete at the CCA Finals. Brady Bertram of Maple Creek won the bareback championship for the second year in a row with 145 points. He also won the aggregate title with a score of 380.5 over five rides. Adam Gilchrist, another Maple Creek cowboy, clinched his first CCA Finals championship title in the saddle bronc with 125 points as well as a total of 303.5 aggregate points. Ron Hunt of Nanton, Alberta, was the top bull rider while Bertina Olafson of Hudson Bay became the barrel racing champion during her second appearance at the CCA Finals. Devon Porter of Solsgirth, Manitoba claimed the steer wrestling championship title after a sudden death shootout against Australian George Wheeler, when they both ended on 100 points, but Wheeler held on to the aggregate title. Mace Perozak of Claresholm, Alberta, won the tie-down roping championship title. The team roping champions are cousins Kyle Chappel (header) of Gravelbourg and Brady Chappel (heeler) of Moose Jaw. William Barrows of Foremost, Alberta, was the junior steer riding champion. Laramie Lockie of Waskada, Manitoba, and Sydney Windjack of Maple Creek both finished on 140 points in the junior girls barrel racing, but Lockie won the championship title after a sudden death run off. Janae Wilson of Maple Creek won the aggregate title in the junior girls barrel racing.

Medical students had an opportunity to learn more about practising medicine in a rural setting during a day-long visit to Swift Current, Oct. 22. The 44 University of Saskatchewan students from Regina and Saskatoon participated in the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) Roadmap Program, an initiative that exposes students to the benefits of practising in smaller centres. The students were hosted by local physicians and family medicine residents at the Cypress Regional Hospital. They had rotating sessions during the morning. Each 30 minute session gave them an opportunity to focus on different skills and to apply their knowledge. There were casting and suturing clinics, and they learned more about the use of a vacuum pump and forceps during assisted delivery in the obstetrical skills clinic. During two simulation lab sessions they had to examine to life-size medical mannequins and diagnose their medical symptoms. In the afternoon the students had a question and answer session with local family medicine residents and they toured the hospital as well as the city.


A fundraising luncheon for the Swift Current Seniors Activity Centre was held in downtown Swift Current, Oct. 21. The luncheon, which took place at the Seniors Centre, was presented by three local businesses in support of the campaign to keep the facility open. The campaign has raised about $15,000 during the past four months and the Seniors Centre has also gained new members. The goal of the campaign is to raise funds for much needed maintenance and repair work to the building. The upgrades will be part of a long-term initiative to keep the building open as a place for seniors to meet and socialize. The Seniors Centre will also be a beneficiary, along with the Salvation Army, of an annual Christmas charity luncheon hosted by local restaurant Soup and Such Cafe and Catering on Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about the fundraising initiative by the Swift Current Seniors Activity Centre or to make a donation, contact Ricardo Morin from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 306-773-0373.



Five local students had a behind-the-scenes visit to the Swift Current Fire Department during the Fire Chief for a Day event, Oct. 20. The students, one each from Central, Fairview, O.M. Irwin and École Centennial schools, were the winners of the Fire Prevention Week contest. They are John Arat (All Saints School), Rayanne Fleischfresser (École Centennial School), Angelina Gaetz (Fairview School), Kasia Gatzke (O.M. Irwin School), and Masen Jones (Central School). The Swift Current Fire Department is working with local schools during October to highlight the importance of replacing smoke alarms. The motto of Fire Prevention Week is “Don't wait, check the date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.” The fire department had a smoke alarm campaign during the summer months to make Swift Current residents aware of the importance of smoke alarms in their home to survive a fire. 


Lionel Hughes, the editor-in-chief of the award-winning magazine Prairies North, was the guest speaker at the second event in the 2016-17 Write Out Loud series at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, Oct. 19. The title of his presentation was “The Confessions: Meaningful first-person narrative after Facebook.” Write Out Loud is celebrating 30 years of author readings and literary cafes during this season with an exciting line-up of authors during seven events scheduled until May 2017. The next event on Nov. 16 will be a 30th anniversary celebration with local award-winning cowboy poet Bryce Burnett, while local resident Hugh Henry will share memories about Swift Current's literary tradition.



The ribbon cutting for Valley Ridge Estates, a new adult living complex in Swift Current, took place on Oct. 13. The project represents an investment of approximately $7.5 million by a group of local investors in association with Bridge Road Developments Ltd. of Winkler, Manitoba. The 24-unit, four-storey adult living complex is located near the Cypress Regional Hospital at the corner of Douglas and Saskatchewan Drive. The project was developed to fulfill a need for maintenance free adult living in Swift Current and 17 suites are already occupied. All utilities, taxes and maintenance are included in the monthly rental fee for the units. The participating dignitaries during the ribbon cutting were, from left to right, Swift Current Deputy Mayor Denis Perrault, Valley Ridge Estates Board President Wayne Headrick, Bridge Road Developments co-founder Harry Funk, and Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson.


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