Matthew Liebenberg

Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

Downtown Swift Current was the location of a weekend of fun activities to celebrate hockey during the  Rogers Hometown Hockey festival. Jan. 9 and 10. There was already a Rogers Hometown Hockey event at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School on Jan. 8 to give students a preview of the weekend's activities. The event was attended by 1,800 students. Former Olympic curler Kelly Schafer spoke to former Swift Current Broncos and NHL hockey player Sheldon Kennedy during the event. Kennedy spoke about his hockey career and his work as an advocate for victims of bullying and child abuse. Cold temperatures during the weekend did not deter people from enjoying the various free events, which included musical performances by a number of bands and appearances by former NHL players Tiger Williams, Wendel Clark and Sheldon Kennedy. The Swift Current Novice Wild minor hockey team participated in the official unveiling of the commemorative jerseys for the Swift Current stop of the Rogers Hometown Hockey tour on Jan. 9.  There was also a cheque presentation of $15,000 from Scotiabank to the Swift Current Minor Hockey Association. PAZ, an award-winning acrobat who has performed with the Cirque du Soleil, juggles with burning hockey sticks during his Hockey Circus Show at the Rogers Hometown Hockey festival. The Swift Current Museum presented an exhibition of local hockey memorabilia and historical photographs at the Lyric Theatre during the weekend. People were able to watch and participate in a live broadcast from the Sportsnet mobile studio on Jan. 10, when there was an opportunity to meet well-known sportscaster Ron MacLean. Swift Current was the 14th stop of this season's Rogers Hometown Hockey tour to 24 communities across Canada.

 

 

Former Swift Current Broncos captain Sheldon Kennedy was recognized during a special presentation before the start of the game between the Broncos and the Moose Jaw Warriors at the Credit Union iPlex, Jan. 10. Kennedy was presented with the Western Hockey League (WHL) 50th season Alumni Achievement Award for his humanitarian efforts and contributions to society. He was a member of the Broncos Memorial Cup championship winning team in 1989 and of Team Canada's gold medal team at the 1988 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. He played eight seasons in the National Hockey League and he was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014 for his leadership in highlighting child abuse since he came forward in 1997 to charge his former hockey coach with sexual abuse. The award presentation was done by Swift Current Broncos Governor Al Stewart and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. Afterwards sportscaster Ron MacLean and former Broncos captain Sheldon Kennedy dropped the puck to Broncos captain Jon Martin and Moose Jaw Warriors captain Brayden Point.

 

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.

 

A new faith-based residential program to empower teenage girls is opening its doors in southwest Saskatchewan.

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.

 

The Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) Senior Ardens won gold at their Dec. 11-12 home tournament. Eight teams participated in the 2015 Swift Current Ardens Basketball Invitational and the Ardens claimed the top spot after three victories, starting with a 60-30 win against Moose Jaw's Vanier Collegiate Institute on Dec. 11. The Ardens then outscored the Yorkton Regional Lady Raiders 65-48 in the semi-final on Saturday morning and played with confidence in that evening's final against the Estevan Elecs to win 58-31.

 

Page 111 of 152