A celebration of Ukrainian culture took place at the Living Sky Casino in Swift Current on Jan. 13 with a Malanka event that included authentic Ukrainian food and a high-energy performance by dancers from Yevshan, a professional Ukrainian folk ballet ensemble based in Saskatoon. The evening's entertainment also included music by the acclaimed Saskatchewan polka band, The Western Senators. Malanka is a Ukrainian folk holiday that is celebrated on Jan. 13, which is New Year's Eve on the Julian calendar. The dancers started their performance with a Pryvit or welcome dance. Thereafter they presented a dance suite that depicted a portion of the traditional Malanka folk tale. Their final dance was the high-energy Hopak, a national Ukrainian dance.



Eight teams participated in the Swift Current Comprehensive High School Senior Colts Invitational basketball tournament, Jan. 13-14. The Saskatoon Bethlehem Stars won gold after defeating the Moose Jaw Peacock Toilers 74-60 in the championship game. The Shaunavon Shadows won bronze with a 59-52 victory against the Weyburn Eagles. The Colts had a tough home tournament that started with a 70-68 loss to the Shadows. The Colts recovered from that defeat to beat the Estevan Elecs 83-57, but the Colts lost the consolation final 70-57 against the Moose Jaw Vanier Vikings. Pictured, action from the consolation final between the Swift Current Colts and Vanier Vikings, and the bronze medal game between the Shaunavon Shadows and the Weyburn Eagles.




The name and colours of the Swift Current 57's baseball team, formerly known as the Swift Current Indians, were officially unveiled during an announcement in council chambers at Swift Current City Hall, Jan. 10. The unveiling, pictured on the first photo, was done by, from left to right, Craig Kilshaw (assistant coach), Brad Woods (a past president  of the club), Harv Martinez (senior advisor of baseball for the club), Joe Carnahan (coach and general manager) and Mike Mutlow (club president). City councillors attended the announcement and Mayor Denis Perrault received a t-shirt in the new colours to wear.


There was a good turnout at a family-friendly drop-in New Year's Eve party in Swift Current hosted by the Parent Support Network agencies. The event, which was attended by around 500 people, provided young and old with an opportunity to celebrate the start of the new year in a safe and family-friendly environment with dance music, a bouncy house, face painting, horse wagon rides and other fun stuff. There were hourly New Year's Eve countdowns, starting at 5 p.m. and the final one at 8 p.m. It was the fourth year the event took place in the city, but this time it started an hour earlier at 4 p.m. and at a larger venue. The Walker Place gymnasium provided more space for families to enjoy the evening. The participating organizations in the Parent Support Network are the Early Childhood Intervention Program, Family Resource Centre, Parent Mentoring, Rural Early Year's Support Worker, Salvation Army, Southwest Crisis Services, and Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre.


The official unveiling of a monument in memory of four Swift Current Broncos players took place on Dec. 30, which was the 30th anniversary of the 1986 bus crash a few kilometres east of Swift Current. The crash claimed the lives of Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka and Brent Ruff. The event was attended by family members of the four players, past and present Broncos, and members of the public. The event started with a prayer by Broncos Chaplain Nathan Wiebe and a brief presentation by Bill Lee, who spearheaded the project to erect a monument near the crash site. Thereafter Lee and other volunteers who assisted with the project removed the plastic sheeting around the structure to reveal the monument in the shape of the commemorative Broncos four-leaf clover patch.


Melodies of Christmas, a popular annual tradition hosted by the Swift Current First United Church, took place on Dec. 18. A variety of performers, including six different choral groups, provided music for the Christmas season. A goodwill offering was collected during the event and a cheque presentation of $1,200 each was made to the Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter and the First United Church Refugee Sponsorship Program.


The 8th annual Lyric Theatre Children's Christmas Matinee took place on Dec. 17 and 18. The event continues a tradition that happened decades ago at Swift Current’s historic theatre, when a Christmas movie was shown to children. This year’s program started with the reading of a children's story by Taylor Harder and a musical performance by Maverick School students Desiree and Dakota Leonard. This was followed by a performance of Rachel Wormsbecher's short play “You can't teach an old elf new tricks.” It was directed by Nancy Bridal and the actors were Keith Adam, Cole Johnson and Zac Lee. Children then had an opportunity to make a Christmas gift during a craft session and the afternoon's highlight was a visit from Santa.



Audience members learned about Christmas traditions around the world during the Grade 1-3 Christmas concert at Swift Current's Central School, Dec. 14. The theme of the concert was “Christmas, Christmas Everywhere” and students depicted the various traditions around the world in song and dance. Local schools reflect the greater diversity in the community with families from different backgrounds and cultures. The concert was therefore an opportunity to teach students to value and respect different cultures.


Students from the Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) Business Club and business education teacher Cindy Lowe made a presentation about their activities at the Chinook School Division board meeting. Dec. 12. The club was started by Lowe as a means to increase the financial literacy of students. The club started informally three years ago with six students and became a formal club at the school in 2015 with around 13 members. There are currently around 25 members. The club's mission is to develop future leaders in the community by exposing students to business, finance, entrepreneurship and debate activities.


The 2016-17 Blenders concert series, which brings live performances by some of Canada's best musicians to Swift Current, is in full swing at the Lyric Theatre. The final concert for 2016 took place on Dec. 10 with an appearance by the Winnipeg art rock band Yes We Mystic. The Swift Current gig was the final performance of 2016 for the band, which had a big year with the release of their first full-length album Forgiver in April, and performances in the United Kingdom and Europe. The band members are Jodi Plenert (keyboards, cello), Eric Ross (violin, synthesizer), Adam Fuhr (guitar, lead vocals),  Jordon Ottenson (drums), and  Keegan Steele (synthesizer, mandolin).There are 11 regular season concerts and five special concerts in the 2016-17 Blenders concert season. The next concert on Jan. 28 will feature Canadian blues guitarist David Gogo.

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