There was a capacity crowd at the launch of the City of Swift Current's Safe Places initiative at the Living Sky Casino Sky Centre, Jan. 8. Through this initiative the City will issue youth certification to individuals who have completed a criminal background check and online training on bullying, abuse, neglect and discrimination. The launch took place during a special screening of of an acclaimed new documentary, titled Swift Current. The film provides insight into the long-lasting effects of sexual abuse through the stories of former Swift Current Broncos player Sheldon Kennedy, who was abused by hockey coach Graham James, and two university students who receive support from Kennedy to cope with the consequences of their abuse. Kennedy was present and he participated with Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer in a panel discussion to answer questions from audience members after the screening of the documentary.

 

The Swift Current United Way's 2016 kickoff breakfast took place at the Living Sky Casino Sky Centre, Jan. 8. Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz and Board Chair Rri Olson announced a larger fundraising goal of $135,000 for 2016. The kickoff breakfast was a soldout event attended by 240 people. They gave two standing ovations to keynote speaker Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHL and Swift Current Broncos player who has become a prominent advocate for child abuse prevention and education. Cheque presentations in support of the Swift Current United Way were made by the Hearing Place, Bank of Montreal and Innovation Credit Union.

 

There was a good turnout on a cold day to welcome the CP Holiday Train to Swift Current, Dec. 18. This is the 17th year that the CP Holiday Train is travelling to communities across Canada and the United States to raise awareness and support for local food banks. The entertainers at this year’s stop in Swift Current were the well-known Canadian country music band Doc Walker and the up-and-coming country music singer-songwriter Kira Isabella. Swift Current Deputy Mayor Ryan Plewis welcomed the holiday train in the city. A cheque of $5,500 from Canadian Pacific was presented to the Swift Current Salvation Army's Major Don Grad during the event.

 

 

The Melodies of Christmas musical celebration, a popular annual tradition hosted by the Swift Current First United Church, took place on Dec. 17. A variety of performers, including five different choral groups, provided music for the Christmas season. A goodwill offering of around $1,800 was collected during the event and donated to the Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter in support of its initiative to develop an emergency shelter for the region's homeless youth.

 

Construction activity on the site of the new 225-bed Swift Current long-term care facility is on schedule for completion by end of April, 2016. The Cypress Health Region has been organizing regular media tours during the past few months and the most recent site visit took place on Dec. 15. The facility will consist of 21 resident homes with 10 single bedrooms in each building and a 15-bed home with rooms for palliative care.

 

The 7th annual Lyric Theatre Children's Christmas Matinee took place on Dec. 12 and 13. The event continues a tradition that started many decades ago at Swift Current’s historic theatre, when a Christmas movie was shown to children. This year’s program included the performance of an original short play called Three Wise Trees that was written by local artist Nancy Bridal, the reading of a children's story by Shalayna Reetz, carol singing with local musician Michael Eckert-Lyngstad, a craft session to make a unique Christmas gift, and a visit from Santa.

 

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